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thalivest
04-28-2009, 04:39 PM
Who do you consider the greatest mens grass court player of all time. It seems alot in the general Pro Discussion think it is Sampras so I was curious to hear what some in this section felt.

thalivest
04-28-2009, 04:48 PM
I voted for Laver. He probably would have won atleast 6 Wimbledons in a row had it been Open tennis than, but perhaps more depending how quickly he matured in the early 60s faced with his toughest competitors earlier.

jimbo333
04-28-2009, 05:21 PM
I've said this before, but have to stick up for the GOAT:)

If you gave them both the same racquet on an even paced grass court (i.e not the super fast Wimbledon 90's grass), Laver is going to win every time:):)

jimbo333
04-28-2009, 05:24 PM
Oh, and there is no point having a poll with Sampras in it, because he wins every one as he has more fans here than anyone else:)

By the way, I think Sampras was the second Greatest Mens Grass Court Player Ever:):)

boredone3456
04-28-2009, 05:46 PM
I'd have to say Laver, he was just phenominal on grass and if he had been able to as thalivest said he would have won more wimbledons.

BTURNER
04-28-2009, 05:57 PM
1. pete
2 Rod
3 Tilden
4. Borg
5. Federer
6. McEnroe
7. Rosewall
8. Perry
9. Edberg
10. Kramer

AndrewD
04-28-2009, 07:01 PM
Who do you consider the greatest mens grass court player of all time. It seems alot in the general Pro Discussion think it is Sampras so I was curious to hear what some in this section felt.

A lot (two words) in the Pro Discussion forum don't know anything about tennis or the game's history and probably think Pete was the best claycourt player as well.

The reality is that while Pete was one of the best Wimbledon players of all time his record at other grass-court events was poor. Played Queens 12 times and only won it twice. Played Halle once and lost second round. THAT isn't the record of the best grasscourt player of all time. Hell, that isn't even the record of the second best.

Add to that, in Davis Cup play, Pete lost to Alex Corretja on GRASS and in the United States. Against Alex Corretja on grass???? THAT isn't the hallmark of the game's greatest grass court player, or the fifth best.

Simple reality is that different grass courts play very differently. As a result, Wimbledon plays differently to Newport which plays differently to Queens which is different to Halle and so on. On the Wimbledon grass, Pete was in his element. At Queens, he wasn't. Exactly the same as Rosewall not being at his absolute best on the grass at Wimbledon but thriving on the Australian and American variety or Hoad doing well in Australia and the UK but hating the rotten bounces and poor quality of the grass in the States.

I'd rate Fred Perry, John Newcombe, Rod Laver and Jack Kramer well ahead of Sampras.

BTURNER
04-28-2009, 07:06 PM
good point, Andrew. Now I have to rethink. But not tonight the bed and pillows beckon, the blankets whisper my name....

charliefedererer
04-28-2009, 07:37 PM
A lot (two words) in the Pro Discussion forum don't know anything about tennis or the game's history and probably think Pete was the best claycourt player as well.

The reality is that while Pete was one of the best Wimbledon players of all time his record at other grass-court events was poor. Played Queens 12 times and only won it twice. Played Halle once and lost second round. THAT isn't the record of the best grasscourt player of all time. Hell, that isn't even the record of the second best.

Add to that, in Davis Cup play, Pete lost to Alex Corretja on GRASS and in the United States. Against Alex Corretja on grass???? THAT isn't the hallmark of the game's greatest grass court player, or the fifth best.

Simple reality is that different grass courts play very differently. As a result, Wimbledon plays differently to Newport which plays differently to Queens which is different to Halle and so on. On the Wimbledon grass, Pete was in his element. At Queens, he wasn't. Exactly the same as Rosewall not being at his absolute best on the grass at Wimbledon but thriving on the Australian and American variety or Hoad doing well in Australia and the UK but hating the rotten bounces and poor quality of the grass in the States.

I'd rate Fred Perry, John Newcombe, Rod Laver and Jack Kramer well ahead of Sampras.

Many also forget that 3 of the 4 grand slams used to be on grass before 1975. Therefore the greats before, and in the early, open era, had more opportunity to play on grass.
Of course this also raises the possibility that Pete would have had even more Slams if the grass tradition continued. Considering he played so few tournaments of the surface, his record was pretty good.
Do you have any video sites for Fred Perry? (I hate to say it, but I've only seen him on that Fred Perry tennis wear commercial.)

CyBorg
04-28-2009, 09:22 PM
Many also forget that 3 of the 4 grand slams used to be on grass before 1975. Therefore the greats before, and in the early, open era, had more opportunity to play on grass.
Of course this also raises the possibility that Pete would have had even more Slams if the grass tradition continued. Considering he played so few tournaments of the surface, his record was pretty good.
Do you have any video sites for Fred Perry? (I hate to say it, but I've only seen him on that Fred Perry tennis wear commercial.)

If Pete played before 1975 he wouldn't have averaged four grand slam events per year.

CEvertFan
04-28-2009, 09:42 PM
Hard to argue with Laver or Sampras or even Tilden.

crabgrass
04-29-2009, 12:50 AM
i'd have becker on that list, not that he's the greatest but 3 wimbledon titles plus a total of 7 times in the final is a pretty good resume, by memory also a few titles at queens.
overall my pick would be sampras

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 04:33 AM
Look at votes though compared to the comments, it really is a joke!!!

The Sampras fans just simply cannot argue their case!!!

Laver was the Greatest Mens Grass Court Player Ever, without any doubt at all:):):)

pc1
04-29-2009, 04:37 AM
I voted for Laver but what surprises me about this poll is after 22 total votes that Roger Federer has not gotten 1 vote. Not that I think he deserves a vote but I would have thought since Federer has won so many Wimbledons that he would gotten at least 1 vote.

crabgrass
04-29-2009, 04:53 AM
Look at votes though compared to the comments, it really is a joke!!!

The Sampras fans just simply cannot argue their case!!!

Laver was the Greatest Mens Grass Court Player Ever, without any doubt at all:):):)

well i'm no sampras fan (got nothing against him either) but 7 wimbledon titles makes a pretty good case

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 05:10 AM
well i'm no sampras fan (got nothing against him either) but 7 wimbledon titles makes a pretty good case

Sampras was an unbelievably great player on really fast Wimbledon grass in the 90's, but look at his record on other grass court tournaments!!!

Laver was the Greatest by a long way:)

I've already said I'd put Sampras second though:)

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 05:14 AM
I voted for Laver but what surprises me about this poll is after 22 total votes that Roger Federer has not gotten 1 vote. Not that I think he deserves a vote but I would have thought since Federer has won so many Wimbledons that he would gotten at least 1 vote.

Like I said earlier you have to ignore the votes. Most Sampras fans probably just vote and then don't even read the thread, never mind try to make an argument for him:)

I'm guessing though that Federer fans know that Laver was better:):)

pc1
04-29-2009, 05:21 AM
I'd rate Fred Perry, John Newcombe, Rod Laver and Jack Kramer well ahead of Sampras.

It's funny how John Newcombe isn't spoken about too often nowadays. In 1973 I saw John Newcombe play Jimmy Connors (I think it was the quarters) of the U.S. Open and John Newcombe won 6-4 7-6 7-6. It may have seen like a fairly routine straight sets triumph but it was super close. Both tiebreaks went to 4-4 and whoever won the next point won the set. Newcombe had the only break of the match in the first set and neither player lost serve afterwards.

I am not kidding when I tell you the quality of that match was amazingly high. It was in my opinion a better quality match than many of the more well known and most exciting matches that we read and talk about. Connors played superbly and still lost.

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 05:23 AM
I'd really like to see that above game, is it anywhere out there on the web?

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 05:26 AM
By the way Fred Perry was also a great table tennis (ping pong) player, think he was world champion at that as well?

Anyway my Grandad played and beat him once when he was playing an international game for Wales against England, he always liked to tell that story:):)

pc1
04-29-2009, 06:00 AM
By the way Fred Perry was also a great table tennis (ping pong) player, think he was world champion at that as well?

Anyway my Grandad played and beat him once when he was playing an international game for Wales against England, he always liked to tell that story:):)

I assume you mean your Grandfather beat him at Table Tennis? Either game, if your Grandfather beat Fred Perry, that's very very impressive. If I beat a player of Perry's level, I would be talking about it all the time. lol.

Incidentally Jimbo333 I've often wished I had a copy of that 1973 Newcombe-Connors U.S. Open match.

hoodjem
04-29-2009, 06:05 AM
On grass the better volleyer tends to win on percentages. Because of his superior speed, I believe Laver would beat Sampras to the net, Sampras would be more confined to the baseline, and thus would tend to lose against Laver.

Laver's game was better than Sampras's in every respect, except the serve.

Rickson
04-29-2009, 06:26 AM
Roger will surpass Pete on grass.

Moose Malloy
04-29-2009, 08:25 AM
The reality is that while Pete was one of the best Wimbledon players of all time his record at other grass-court events was poor. Played Queens 12 times and only won it twice. Played Halle once and lost second round. THAT isn't the record of the best grasscourt player of all time. Hell, that isn't even the record of the second best.

Add to that, in Davis Cup play, Pete lost to Alex Corretja on GRASS and in the United States. Against Alex Corretja on grass???? THAT isn't the hallmark of the game's greatest grass court player, or the fifth best.

Simple reality is that different grass courts play very differently. As a result, Wimbledon plays differently to Newport which plays differently to Queens which is different to Halle and so on. On the Wimbledon grass, Pete was in his element. At Queens, he wasn't.

True about different grass courts, but you have to admit Sampras often treated 'warmup events'(that's what queens ultimately is) before majors as basically extended practice. I recall Bjorkman or Woodforde joking about this after they beat him at Queens one year(that Pete was just going through the motions before Wimbledon & that it wasn't a 'real' win)

This was also reflected in the oddsmakers/analysts, even after sampras suffered his traditional early round loss at queens, the odds didn't change one bit & no one stated he wasn't anything other than a huge favorite at W. Imagine what the odds would be for W if Fed loses early at Halle this year.

Sampras was a strange player, there is a great disparity between his win % at majors relative to his win % at regular tour events(esp in comparison to every other great of the open era - Connors, Mac, Borg, Lendl, Fed, Nadal - they are consistent in their numbers at all events)
Clearly he didn't have the greatest motivation at non majors throughout his career. Amazed that he could just turn it on so often, many other greats couldn't put losses behind them so easily.

Rabbit
04-29-2009, 08:46 AM
I voted for Borg. He won 5 years in a row and did it against guys who grew up on by and large faster surfaces. He played in an era when everyone knew how to play the transition game.

Behind him, Laver and behind Laver, Sampras.

Azzurri
04-29-2009, 09:10 AM
I'd have to say Laver, he was just phenominal on grass and if he had been able to as thalivest said he would have won more wimbledons.

yes, he maybe would have won more W titles (its a guess of course), but the issue for Laver is Sampras's serve and his return game. Laver did not play a guy like Pete in his time (on W grass anyway). I could be wrong, but its just from what I know about Pete. Pete's serve on grass was literally unstoppable. He also returned very well, in the top 10 (even 5 to some) volleyer of all time. You add those 3 ingredients together, then Pete should win against Laver. Don't get me wrong, from what little I have seen on video and people's take on Laver (one that actually watched him play) he is a tremendous player. But he just did not have the power of Pete. Would be fun to watch though.:)

Cesc Fabregas
04-29-2009, 09:32 AM
On grass the better serve and volleyer tends to win on percentages. Because of his superior speed, I believe Laver would beat Sampras to the net, Sampras would be more confined to the baseline, and thus would tend to lose against Laver.

Laver's game was better than Sampras's in every respect, except the serve.

Laver didn't have a better forehand than Pete.

Azzurri
04-29-2009, 09:32 AM
A lot (two words) in the Pro Discussion forum don't know anything about tennis or the game's history and probably think Pete was the best claycourt player as well.

The reality is that while Pete was one of the best Wimbledon players of all time his record at other grass-court events was poor. Played Queens 12 times and only won it twice. Played Halle once and lost second round. THAT isn't the record of the best grasscourt player of all time. Hell, that isn't even the record of the second best.

Add to that, in Davis Cup play, Pete lost to Alex Corretja on GRASS and in the United States. Against Alex Corretja on grass???? THAT isn't the hallmark of the game's greatest grass court player, or the fifth best.

Simple reality is that different grass courts play very differently. As a result, Wimbledon plays differently to Newport which plays differently to Queens which is different to Halle and so on. On the Wimbledon grass, Pete was in his element. At Queens, he wasn't. Exactly the same as Rosewall not being at his absolute best on the grass at Wimbledon but thriving on the Australian and American variety or Hoad doing well in Australia and the UK but hating the rotten bounces and poor quality of the grass in the States.

I'd rate Fred Perry, John Newcombe, Rod Laver and Jack Kramer well ahead of Sampras.

while your arguement seems solid, it has several holes. Do you know the type of grass the other tourney's had? Did you know Pete's mindset on those tourney's? You need to look at his overall #'s. His winning % is highest on grass (not sure what it is, but it has to be). By your logic, he is also not a good hardcourt/carpet player since he lost more tourney's (percentage wise) than he won. Anyone that followed Pete knows he was all about the grand slams, especially W and the USO. He may not have won Queens club every year, but he did quite well there regardless. Also, Pete played far fewer grass tourney's than Laver and his generation because there were fewer events. It may have just been a timing issue for Pete in the warm-up tourney. Pete never won Canada and lost far more HC tourney's at Indian Wells and Miami. Yet he is considered one of the greatest hard-court players in history (7 HC grand slams).

I agree that grass plays differently at all the events, but its not different like the AO/USO surfaces. Heck, Lendl won Queens twice..what does that tell you?

Guess who has won the most prize money at Queens club....?

Notice Fed does not even play it and many consider him to be the greatest grass court player. I look at the final # and Pete won 7 W grand slams. You really can't argue facts. Its also hard to judge what a player would actually do against another when they are seperated by 20 plus years. Just knowing Pete's game and his power, I just don't see anyone able to control the guy on any fast surface. Its just looking at it logically.

Corretja? Do you realize they played in 2002. Pete lost to some nitwit that same year at W, so if that is your reasoning, well I just cannot understand your reasoning.

Azzurri
04-29-2009, 09:34 AM
Look at votes though compared to the comments, it really is a joke!!!

The Sampras fans just simply cannot argue their case!!!

Laver was the Greatest Mens Grass Court Player Ever, without any doubt at all:):):)

I am actually a bigger Mac fan. But I cannot justifiably vote for a guy I never saw play. I guess you must be 60 + years old then, since you seem adament about Laver. I guess you have all of this confidence since you have seen play since the 50's.:rolleyes:

Azzurri
04-29-2009, 09:39 AM
On grass the better serve and volleyer tends to win on percentages. Because of his superior speed, I believe Laver would beat Sampras to the net, Sampras would be more confined to the baseline, and thus would tend to lose against Laver.

Laver's game was better than Sampras's in every respect, except the serve.

are you saying Laver had a better return game, better FH? So Laver would have an easier time breaking Pete's serve than Pete breaking Laver's?? No knock on Rod, but Pete had a very good all-court game and his power may be too much for the Rocket. I think they both excelled at the net and not sure Rod was fatser to the net. I give Pete the odd as the better athlete and I know Pete was as fast as a deer. Laver may have had the better "classic" grass-court game, but Pete's serve and return game would probably overtake anything Laver had that was better. I think the return game was key on grass and I just don't see Laver doing much to Pete.:)

hoodjem
04-29-2009, 09:55 AM
Thanks for asking. I believe that Laver was better at everything, except the serve.

I am saying that Laver's return game was better, his volleying was better, his ground game (forehand and backhand) was better, and he was faster.

Sorry, no knock on Pete. I like his game a lot, particularly his forehand and his under-rated backhand IMO, and his put-away volleys.

All of these elements of Pete's game were "very good." I simply believe that all of the components of Laver's game were not just very good, but among the best of all time. Laver had no weaknesses; IMO he was the most complete player in the history of the game.

In my opinion the only thing Sampras does/did demonstrably better was the serve. (As for greater power for Sampras, well this is time-travel stuff anyway--wood Maxply versus PS 85 is factored, or maybe both with K88, both age 29, so who can say.)

380pistol
04-29-2009, 10:02 AM
This thread is a joke... a complete joke!!!!!! Sampras has the #1 spot and anyone can say what they want about me being a Sampras fan, but look at the arguements being made.

-he only won Queens twice in however many times he played it... so what???? Did Sampras ever play at Queens with the intensity he did at Wimbledon. So the first arguement about Pete's grasscourt prowess is..... Is he didn't take Queens seriously. Great arguement/ I don't care if they used grass from the moon at Queens, put that that same grass at SW19 and explain to me how Sampras doesn't get 7 Wimbledon titles on that grass, and we'll have a discussion.

-3 slams on grass?? Oh please. How many slams would Sampras have won if he had the opprtunity to play 3 slams on grass. You can't use this barometer and compare players who got to play 3 slams on grass to those who didn't(See McEnroe and Federer as well).

-Different types of grass. Sampras only played well on Wimbledon grass?? Well what other grasscourt tourneys are prelavent today??? But if one says Tilden, Budge, etc. get smacked on hardcourts..... on no that's unreasonable. Well I see...... hardcourt, deco turf II (all 3 speeds they've used in Flushing), Rebound Ace, Plexicushion, Indoor Taraflex indoor carpet, tha many who've felt it say it's really a hardcourt), Carpet, and Greenset (another type of indoor hardcourt). So when you decide to hold this against past players, then hold the fact that Pete was only dominant on Wimbldeon grass against him.

-Flaws, how about we talk about Laver, When he won his first 2 Wimbledon titles where the hell were Ken Rosewall and Lew Hoad, Damn where was even Pancho Gonzales?? Oh that's right they were barred from playing slams, but that never gets mentioned regarding Rod. Only the slams he was unable to play, not the slams others missed which enabled himto his first 6 slams (5 which came on grass). Nothing against Laver as I think he's great, but let's call a spade a spade.

AHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moose Malloy
04-29-2009, 10:38 AM
Thanks for asking. I believe that Laver was better at everything, except the serve.

I am saying that Laver's return game was better, his volleying was better, his ground game (forehand and backhand) was better, and he was faster.

Sorry, no knock on Pete. I like his game a lot, particularly his forehand and his under-rated backhand IMO, and his put-away volleys.

All of these elements of Pete's game were "very good." I simply believe that all of the components of Laver's game were not just very good, but among the best of all time. Laver had no weaknesses; IMO he was the most complete player in the history of the game.

In my opinion the only thing Sampras does/did demonstrably better was the serve. (As for greater power for Sampras, well this is time-travel stuff anyway--wood Maxply versus PS 85 is factored, or maybe both with K88, both age 29, so who can say.)


Maybe all this is true, but you do know that Sampras often went on runs of holding serve 80 or 90 consecutive times during wimbledon? I believe he only lost serve twice in the 7 wimbledon finals he won. and he only lost serve twice during the entire tournament in '97.

No one in Laver's era(or any era really, including today) held serve that efficiently & frequently. You can say that's all due to equipment, fine(yet no one else has come close to that in the graphite era, so maybe Sampras was unique in that department?) I think its safe to say Laver never faced someone that put that kind of pressure on his service game(service breaks were a lot more common then. I have several complete Laver matches on tape, including the '69 US & W finals & the '70 Dunlop Final, his serve was far from unbreakable & often went way off for stretches - his rivals even talked about this. again maybe that was due to equipment, but fact is you could lose serve & still win on grass back then. while that was close to an impossibility in many of the W finals of the 90s)

I'm not part of the 'bigger, stronger, faster era' herd by any means(in fact most would say I'm quite the opposite), but I think serve % held is a very important stat, & laver would need to greatly increase his efficiency in that department if you want to play time travel games with sampras (and this stat isn't about power, there have been many great servers who had high hold %'s without power, like Mac)

I think the greats would be greats in any era. But that includes recent greats as well. I think Laver was a more complete player. But I also think he would have had a tough time breaking Sampras on grass(like everyone basically did) Being more 'complete' often has nothing to do with winning or losing a tennis match. The serve is the most important shot in the game, esp on grass(& esp the 2nd serve, which was not a strength of Laver's)

hoodjem
04-29-2009, 02:24 PM
This thread is a joke... a complete joke!!!!!!


AHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's just take a deep breath, and not bite any one's head off, please. (You would think I'd brought up Monica.)

BTW, is there something stuck in your throat?

Borgforever
04-29-2009, 04:02 PM
I voted for Fortress -- who you think I'm gonna vote for? Chip Hooper?

But I will say this -- I'm certain (as can be -- which always includes healthy doubt for the unkown unpredictability-factor) that the differences between the Apex Old Grass Predators after WWII (a top tier IMO who includes Gonzales, Sampras, Laver, Borg and to a certain extent Federer) are, at best, miniscule and the question principally unanswerable.

However, if we play the time-machine game which is always fun the tiny, slight differences are these according to my views:

These guys would be absolute, unrelenting nightmares to each other in match-ups with matches of strange greatness never witnessed if the collided at peak. No-one faced anyone as powerful as the other on grass when the reached their Apex Grass Tennis Predator-phase.

It's really an extreme toss-up for me... Everyone's got something on the other and these things also IMO coincide with each and everyone of the other player's particular weakness -- or at least that they never faced anyone with that super-specialized ability that they all individually and uniquely possessed at their respective peak.

Sampras deserves special and enhanced mention -- great respect for Moose's post above concerning Pete's stunning and unmatched achievement at SW 19 of just keepin' his serve go just steamin' -- and I can talk loads about these other guy's advantage over the other but since I am who I am I have to let the silent Borg speak volumes:

* 41 straight wins at Wimby at age 25...

* 21-0 in sets at Wimby 1976 AT AGE 20 (!) against fast-court specialists in very inspired form (not only Nastase) -- holding his serve like Pete showing that he could do it -- with the old wooden racquet -- you, know, with the old pea-sized sweetspot!

* Fought off every major contender during his reign on all kinds different old grass (fresh, super-skidding grass, hard-baked, humid, dry humid et al)

* Even in the direst of circumstances -- being down and out like nobody else almost -- being 0-2 against Edmondson and Connors, a break down in the fifth against a peak Gerulaitis in 77 -- every five-setter -- he was just the very definition of clutch at Wimby. Hit "Clutch" at Wiki and there's only a picture of Ice Borg there.

* After he only had only played three Wimbys he pulled off five straight victories and a sixth successive final -- not only lost because of a great opponent, we all know that -- and then Fortress never played there again. Clearly the fiercest record of any player at any era at Wimby at such a young age. His cool, wise demeanor, his smarts, the maturity -- just strolling out there pulling the rabbit out of the hat every single time, "like a true seasoned professional of over thirty" as Kramer said during Wimby 1976, with just that fascinating expression of a tired butcher on a Monday morning...

What would anyone say of Sampras, say, if this had been a fact:

Not only did Pete Sampras win six Wimby-titles he also won five-straight RG titles against extraordinary talent on the slow-courts staving off each and every contender in astonishing and unforgettable ways -- even talked about often today -- only finally losing at RG in a very close match against another absolute dominant great at RG although we all know that his focus wasn't there that match -- never to return again. No one had the upper hand on Sampras at RG and he was supposed to be at his peak the most dominant player, maybe, ever on faster surfaces. And then he pulls this off. And he's only 25...

And although he did win Wimby twice without losing a set he actually won RG when he was only 20 for the first time not losing a set -- which has not happened since -- even long before further racquet evolution had made it much easier to achieve precision in every shot...

Just a thought...

Rickson
04-29-2009, 04:04 PM
I'm gonna revive this thread after Roger wins Wimbledon 09. I'm the only one who voted for Roger so far, but watch how things change. I stick with my pick.

thalivest
04-29-2009, 04:05 PM
I'm gonna revive this thread after Roger wins Wimbledon 09. I'm the only one who voted for Roger so far, but watch how things change. I stick with my pick.

The only all time poll Roger would win is the most overrated all time great of all time.

Rickson
04-29-2009, 04:23 PM
Is that why he's about to be the new record holder of most slams? Because he's overrated?

GameSampras
04-29-2009, 04:36 PM
Sampras without a doubt. 7 Wimbeldons in 8 years? Whos come close except Renshaw maybe or I guess Borg? And Fed I suppose but he struggles against a defensive grinder in Nadal on grass.

Laver aint better than Pete on grass. Pete is the greatest player to ever step foot on the lawns of Wimbeldon.. HANDS DOWN. No one compares.


There isnt a player in history who could Pete on grass when he was on his game and at his peak... Except Krajieck in 96 I suppose :).


But I think you would be hardpressed to make a convincing case of anyone better than Pete on grass. Hes proved himself IMO as the greatest ever on this surface.

thalivest
04-29-2009, 04:42 PM
I'm gonna revive this thread after Roger wins Wimbledon 09. I'm the only one who voted for Roger so far, but watch how things change. I stick with my pick.

He has been supposably about to do that for 20 months now and still hasnt. That is why he is overrated.

GameSampras
04-29-2009, 04:43 PM
No I think Roger has more of a case as being one of the greatest hardcourt players ever especially faster USO type courts as he does a GOAT candidacy on grass.

thalivest
04-29-2009, 04:45 PM
No I think Roger has more of a case as being one of the greatest hardcourt players ever especially faster USO type courts as he does a GOAT candidacy on grass.

I agree with you for once.

GameSampras
04-29-2009, 04:47 PM
I agree with you for once.

We agree on something? What the hell.

thalivest
04-29-2009, 04:50 PM
We agree on something? What the hell.

LOL! There is a first for everything.

The-Champ
04-29-2009, 05:03 PM
are you saying Laver had a better return game, better FH? So Laver would have an easier time breaking Pete's serve than Pete breaking Laver's?? No knock on Rod, but Pete had a very good all-court game and his power may be too much for the Rocket. I think they both excelled at the net and not sure Rod was fatser to the net. I give Pete the odd as the better athlete and I know Pete was as fast as a deer. Laver may have had the better "classic" grass-court game, but Pete's serve and return game would probably overtake anything Laver had that was better. I think the return game was key on grass and I just don't see Laver doing much to Pete.:)


krajicek and ivanisevic must be two of the greatest returner ever since krajicek have actually beaten pete on grass and goran took pete to 5 in '95 and '98? how were they able to return that unreturnable serve?

The-Champ
04-29-2009, 05:17 PM
Sampras without a doubt. 7 Wimbeldons in 8 years? Whos come close except Renshaw maybe or I guess Borg? And Fed I suppose but he struggles against a defensive grinder in Nadal on grass.

Laver aint better than Pete on grass. Pete is the greatest player to ever step foot on the lawns of Wimbeldon.. HANDS DOWN. No one compares.


There isnt a player in history who could Pete on grass when he was on his game and at his peak... Except Krajieck in 96 I suppose :).


But I think you would be hardpressed to make a convincing case of anyone better than Pete on grass. Hes proved himself IMO as the greatest ever on this surface.


I thought you said you were 25? How many times have you seen Laver or Borg play in their primes?

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 05:30 PM
I assume you mean your Grandfather beat him at Table Tennis? Either game, if your Grandfather beat Fred Perry, that's very very impressive. If I beat a player of Perry's level, I would be talking about it all the time. lol.

Incidentally Jimbo333 I've often wished I had a copy of that 1973 Newcombe-Connors U.S. Open match.

Yes, just to be clear my Grandfather beat Perry at Table Tennis, not tennis. As you say though still impressive:)

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 05:34 PM
I am actually a bigger Mac fan. But I cannot justifiably vote for a guy I never saw play. I guess you must be 60 + years old then, since you seem adament about Laver. I guess you have all of this confidence since you have seen play since the 50's.:rolleyes:

Fair point mate:)

Although I have seen Laver on DVD/Ytube etc a lot, and my Grandfather told me about him loads as well. I'm actually 39 and am a bigger Connors fan:)

Still sure that Laver is GOAT though:)

GameSampras
04-29-2009, 06:02 PM
I thought you said you were 25? How many times have you seen Laver or Borg play in their primes?

Quite a few youtube videos and a couple dvd's Ive purchased. I didnt see them firsthand in their primes. Then again, How many here actually have? I doubt many.

hoodjem
04-29-2009, 06:03 PM
* Even in the direst of circumstances -- being down and out like nobody else almost -- being 0-2 against Edmondson and Connors, a break down in the fifth against a peak Gerulaitis in 77 -- every five-setter -- he was just the very definition of clutch at Wimby. Hit "Clutch" at Wiki and there's only a picture of Ice Borg there.

This is what I get on Wiki when I plug in the word "clutch":


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5b/Clutchdisc.jpg

My Bjorn, how you have changed?

hoodjem
04-29-2009, 06:10 PM
Laver aint better than Pete on grass. Pete is the greatest player to ever step foot on the lawns of Wimbeldon.. HANDS DOWN. No one compares.

Okay. Okay. I agree, Pete is the greatest player to ever "step foot on the on the lawns of Wimbeldon."

But Laver is one of the greatest at Wimbledon.:)

jimbo333
04-29-2009, 06:11 PM
Quite a few youtube videos and a couple dvd's Ive purchased. I didnt see them firsthand in their primes. Then again, How many here actually have? I doubt many.

There's probably a few mature persons here that have:)

Have you actually seen Sampras in his prime?

GameSampras
04-29-2009, 06:26 PM
There's probably a few mature persons here that have:)

Have you actually seen Sampras in his prime?

Yes I have got to witness Sampras' prime first hand but not his peak I guess. Though I began watchin 95, so take that from what you will. 1994 though I believe is highly regarded as Pete's peak and best year statisitically. But 93-98 was his prime so yes. I didnt see Pete's 94 peak though first hand. If 94 was really Pete's peak. Which you can argue it wasnt I suppose. Is the only way to judge a players peak based on what the stats say? I judge a player's peak by playing level to be honest. Not what the numbers say

Azzurri
04-29-2009, 06:43 PM
This thread is a joke... a complete joke!!!!!! Sampras has the #1 spot and anyone can say what they want about me being a Sampras fan, but look at the arguements being made.

-he only won Queens twice in however many times he played it... so what???? Did Sampras ever play at Queens with the intensity he did at Wimbledon. So the first arguement about Pete's grasscourt prowess is..... Is he didn't take Queens seriously. Great arguement/ I don't care if they used grass from the moon at Queens, put that that same grass at SW19 and explain to me how Sampras doesn't get 7 Wimbledon titles on that grass, and we'll have a discussion.

-3 slams on grass?? Oh please. How many slams would Sampras have won if he had the opprtunity to play 3 slams on grass. You can't use this barometer and compare players who got to play 3 slams on grass to those who didn't(See McEnroe and Federer as well).

-Different types of grass. Sampras only played well on Wimbledon grass?? Well what other grasscourt tourneys are prelavent today??? But if one says Tilden, Budge, etc. get smacked on hardcourts..... on no that's unreasonable. Well I see...... hardcourt, deco turf II (all 3 speeds they've used in Flushing), Rebound Ace, Plexicushion, Indoor Taraflex indoor carpet, tha many who've felt it say it's really a hardcourt), Carpet, and Greenset (another type of indoor hardcourt). So when you decide to hold this against past players, then hold the fact that Pete was only dominant on Wimbldeon grass against him.

-Flaws, how about we talk about Laver, When he won his first 2 Wimbledon titles where the hell were Ken Rosewall and Lew Hoad, Damn where was even Pancho Gonzales?? Oh that's right they were barred from playing slams, but that never gets mentioned regarding Rod. Only the slams he was unable to play, not the slams others missed which enabled himto his first 6 slams (5 which came on grass). Nothing against Laver as I think he's great, but let's call a spade a spade.

AHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

here is something ironic to the clueless "tennis fans"...Pete actually won Wimbledon on at leats 3 different grass surfaces. they changed at least 3 times in the 8 years he won 7 of them. so Pete did win more slams on "different" grass surfaces.:)

Azzurri
04-29-2009, 06:52 PM
krajicek and ivanisevic must be two of the greatest returner ever since krajicek have actually beaten pete on grass and goran took pete to 5 in '95 and '98? how were they able to return that unreturnable serve?

Please see the stats on pete's serve in W in his 7 wins. Kraijcek was a god those 2 weeks and Goran beat him when Pete was not yet the king of grass. you have some weird sarcasm. maybe its because you don't understand English very well. but its no surprise you don't know what is going in this thread.

Azzurri
04-29-2009, 06:54 PM
Fair point mate:)

Although I have seen Laver on DVD/Ytube etc a lot, and my Grandfather told me about him loads as well. I'm actually 39 and am a bigger Connors fan:)

Still sure that Laver is GOAT though:)

at least you admit you never watched Laver in his prime. but its ok to think Laver as the best grass court player..he is #3 in my book.:)

Winners or Errors
04-29-2009, 07:21 PM
Oh, and there is no point having a poll with Sampras in it, because he wins every one as he has more fans here than anyone else:)

By the way, I think Sampras was the second Greatest Mens Grass Court Player Ever:):)

Not true. If it had been any other surface, I'd be voting for someone other than Sampras. He was just an amazing grass court player. Even on today's "green clay," I think he'd have some titles...

The-Champ
04-29-2009, 07:43 PM
Quite a few youtube videos and a couple dvd's Ive purchased. I didnt see them firsthand in their primes. Then again, How many here actually have? I doubt many.



okey, then that makes you the most credible poster in this forum regarding issues like this. My mistake sorry.

CEvertFan
04-29-2009, 08:06 PM
okey, then that makes you the most credible poster in this forum regarding issues like this. My mistake sorry.

I saw Sampras' entire prime, his entire career actually. But then again I became a fan of tennis in the 80s.

The-Champ
04-29-2009, 08:07 PM
Please see the stats on pete's serve in W in his 7 wins. Kraijcek was a god those 2 weeks and Goran beat him when Pete was not yet the king of grass. you have some weird sarcasm. maybe its because you don't understand English very well. but its no surprise you don't know what is going in this thread.


There was no sarcasm in my post. I asked a valid question. How did Krajicek and Ivanisevic managed to return Sampras' serve? Statistics show that, both of them managed to break Pete's serve at those encounters, even when Pete was the "king of grass". What makes you think Laver would not be able to do the same?

English is not my first language, it's my fourth. I don't have to be a native speaker to understand the colloquial language you are using mr. Azzuri.

AndrewD
04-29-2009, 08:30 PM
Many also forget that 3 of the 4 grand slams used to be on grass before 1975. Therefore the greats before, and in the early, open era, had more opportunity to play on grass.
Of course this also raises the possibility that Pete would have had even more Slams if the grass tradition continued. Considering he played so few tournaments of the surface, his record was pretty good.

How could anyone forget that 3 of 4 were played on grass?

True, the greats pre-1976 had more opportunity to play on grass (also pre-1988) BUT they also had a lot more opposition on it. Almost every single player knew how to play on grass and had a game designed for that surface. Look back over the Sampras era through to today and make a list of all the genuinely great grasscourt players (not counting those guys from the previous 'generation' who has passed their prime). I can only think of Pete. Rafter, Ivanisevic and Henman were fantastic players but not in the same league as Becker, Edberg, McEnroe, Cash, Leconte, etc. It's very much the same as when Borg was winning his Wimbledon titles. If he'd played ten years earlier he'd have been lucky (Agassi-lucky) to have won one. Put Sampras in competition with the guys I mentioned or up against Laver, Smith, Newcombe, Ashe, Rosewall, etc and there is absolutely no way in the world he would have won Wimbledon 7 of 8 years in a row. No doubt he would have won a few titles (4 or 5) but he wouldn't have dominated the way he did. The likelihood is that, with more tournaments on grass, but greater competition, he wouldn't have been any better off.

thalivest
04-29-2009, 08:52 PM
Rafter, Ivanisevic and Henman were fantastic players but not in the same league as Becker, Edberg, McEnroe, Cash, Leconte, etc.

You consider Leconte in another league from Ivanisevic or even Rafter on grass? Also Sampras did face Becker in 3 of the years he won Wimbledon, including semifinals and finals in 1993 and 1995.

380pistol
04-29-2009, 10:05 PM
krajicek and ivanisevic must be two of the greatest returner ever since krajicek have actually beaten pete on grass and goran took pete to 5 in '95 and '98? how were they able to return that unreturnable serve?

Well let me give you some #'s....

SAMPRAS @ WIMBLEDON
1994 - held 103/106 service games
1997 - held 116/118 service games (incl. 97 straight)
1998 - held 116/121 service games
1999 - held 96/101 service games
2000 - held 118/123 service games (incl. last 85 which was extented to 118 in 2001)

In Pete's 7 finals(5 of 7 finals he was never broken) he held 127 of 131 service games, including straks of 41 and61 consecutive holds. So Krajieck has the 2 weeks of his life and Ivanisevic who has beaten Sampras '92, Edberg #2, Becker, Rafter, Henman, Krajicek and Safin, played Sampras tough and thiat's all you have.

The #'s speak for themselves.

380pistol
04-29-2009, 10:10 PM
How could anyone forget that 3 of 4 were played on grass?

True, the greats pre-1976 had more opportunity to play on grass (also pre-1988) BUT they also had a lot more opposition on it. Almost every single player knew how to play on grass and had a game designed for that surface. Look back over the Sampras era through to today and make a list of all the genuinely great grasscourt players (not counting those guys from the previous 'generation' who has passed their prime). I can only think of Pete. Rafter, Ivanisevic and Henman were fantastic players but not in the same league as Becker, Edberg, McEnroe, Cash, Leconte, etc. It's very much the same as when Borg was winning his Wimbledon titles. If he'd played ten years earlier he'd have been lucky (Agassi-lucky) to have won one. Put Sampras in competition with the guys I mentioned or up against Laver, Smith, Newcombe, Ashe, Rosewall, etc and there is absolutely no way in the world he would have won Wimbledon 7 of 8 years in a row. No doubt he would have won a few titles (4 or 5) but he wouldn't have dominated the way he did. The likelihood is that, with more tournaments on grass, but greater competition, he wouldn't have been any better off.

Rafter and Ivanisevic not in the same league as Leconte?!? I love Cash, but Pete would take him out on grass, and when was he healthy enough to any type of consitent damage??

Pete beat Becker at Wimbledon 3 times, and was never broken by Boris. McEnroe's Wimbledon odyssy was finished in 1984, I remember him losing the 1989 SF to McEnroe and the 1992 SF to Agassi... a Sampras advessary.

Sampras I'd take over Laver on grass. And yesif the played in the same era Pete would have his work cut out for him trying to take 7 titles in 8 years, but how many would Pete take from Rod??? Rosewall never won Wimbledon and is now a wrench to a man won 7 and was damn near unbeatable at SW19?!? Smith and Ashe... no. Newcombe has a shot, but if Pete can handle Becker on grass, he can handle Newk.

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 04:33 AM
There was no sarcasm in my post. I asked a valid question. How did Krajicek and Ivanisevic managed to return Sampras' serve? Statistics show that, both of them managed to break Pete's serve at those encounters, even when Pete was the "king of grass". What makes you think Laver would not be able to do the same?

English is not my first language, it's my fourth. I don't have to be a native speaker to understand the colloquial language you are using mr. Azzuri.

well my mistake, then its your comprehension (understanding) of the English language that makes you seem odd. You don't how to write it very well either. you also don't know much about tennis...oh well, maybe you have other interests that you are good at. Serioulsy, you seem to be trying to agitate people. You are making ridiculous statements and asking stupid questions. If you can't form a logical opinion or question, please go away.

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 04:37 AM
Well let me give you some #'s....

SAMPRAS @ WIMBLEDON
1994 - held 103/106 service games
1997 - held 116/118 service games (incl. 97 straight)
1998 - held 116/121 service games
1999 - held 96/101 service games
2000 - held 118/123 service games (incl. last 85 which was extented to 118 in 2001)

In Pete's 7 finals(5 of 7 finals he was never broken) he held 127 of 131 service games, including straks of 41 and61 consecutive holds. So Krajieck has the 2 weeks of his life and Ivanisevic who has beaten Sampras '92, Edberg #2, Becker, Rafter, Henman, Krajicek and Safin, played Sampras tough and thiat's all you have.

The #'s speak for themselves.

The guy is just trolling. he has no clue what he is talking about and its obvious he does not like Sampras nor his fans. I will request a mod to look into his trolling. I am so, so tired of these posters. I gave myself a 2 week break for 2 reasons, one was the idiocy of certain posters and the other is the hypocricy.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-30-2009, 04:59 AM
I don't vote because I can't choose between Sampras and Laver. As pointed out elsewhere Laver was possibly better than Pete on almost every stroke except the serve and possibly the forehand but on these last strokes Pete could be pretty awesome. Gonzales close to them. Then Borg and Federer tied in my opinion. Next Becker, McEnroe (and perhaps Edberg). Then Budge then Vines (but at his peak Vines was perhaps as good as Sampras or Laver but Vines had too many downs in his career) then Rosewall, Newcombe tied (Rosewall more consistent than Newk and Newk reaching highest peaks). Then other players (sorry for those I forget) including Hoad (at his peak on the same level as Vines, Laver and Sampras).

Rickson
04-30-2009, 05:12 AM
It's good to see more votes for Roger.

hoodjem
04-30-2009, 06:50 AM
There isnt a player in history who could Pete on grass when he was on his game and at his peak... Except Krajieck in 96 I suppose :).

Don't forget the great George Bastl.

Borgforever
04-30-2009, 07:47 AM
Björn Borg said: "The absolute and only key to winning Wimby is your service return. Yes you have to serve great all the time too -- but pretty much everyone does that on grass anyway -- that's the surface demand. But to create breakpoints makes you win. Study your opponent's serve a lot in matches. How does he serve under pressure? Any patterns? Use that. Practice exact circumstances with a partner. Be fully prepared. Practice until you've returned great under exact that kind of opposition. You'll walk out the there to start the match with the knowledge that you can and probably will do it -- maybe even if you're not your absolute best that day -- because you've done it so many times before at practicing the exact situation..."

Adaption to the actual opposition and overcoming it characterized all eras. If peak Sampras, Borg and Laver et al had collided at peak they would've come up new answers for their respective opponents particular strength.

Sampras never faced the finest, most creative and flexible grass court returners: Laver, Borg, Connors, Nadal et al

They sometimes faced servers with that consistent, inspired carpet-bombing serve that he possessed. Mac 80-84 held serve quite astonishingly at Wimby. Tanner held serve amazingly many times times while he could throw in a bad year or two here and there. You had Dibley, Pasarell, Feaver and even Victor Amaya, who had a very uneven and flakey pro career but he was a pretty high-ranked pro -- among the 100 best players on the planet and everybody knew that on his day, when everything went Krajicek for him on superskidding fast grass that no-one would break him and his other strokes worked to perfection. For a few matches here and there, sprinkled out during the season from minor tourneys to the majors he did Sampras results -- but only a few matches. Never really whole tourneys or seasons. But that's what made his ranking.

When Amaya stepped on court with Borg at R1 at Wimby 1978 it was Björn's worst nightmare. It was Pete Sampras going out to face Krajicek in 1996. Amaya served like nobody else AND everything else worked for him too. When Borg had been asked before the tourney that year he said: "I especially don't want to meet Amaya in the first three or four rounds. I've seen him lately and he is in tremendous form. I am very familiar with his serve and it's very difficult to return and anticipate, especially with that very low, skidding bounce on the fresh, humid grass. He would be the worst opponent for anybody when he's like this."

Boris Becker and Pete Sampras were players who could do the things Amaya could do consistently and better with a huge margin.

The greatest returners could stave off the greatest serve-barrage you can ever imagine and still stand there victorious when the smoke had cleared.

To say that Sampras' serve-strength alone, during his reign, during his era -- which I doubt was the most compititive ever -- makes him leader of the Wimby Apex Predators is just taking things out of context undermining the entire statement.

There's a huge mountain of evidence that proves the contrary to be truthful...

Borgforever
04-30-2009, 08:03 AM
Björn Hellberg said that Tanner in 1975 had lost only "a very few times -- a very, very, few times" and Roscoe serving like mad in roof-top percentages and still got blowouted by Jimbo in the SF.

In 1976 Tanner didn't lose one service game in the five matches leading up to his SF against Borg on superfast hard-baked grass -- losing only one set against Kirmayr in R3 in a tie-break and virtually pulverizing one of the greatest returners of all time Jimmy Connors in what many considers one of his peak years -- before he was broken twice and executed by Fortress, yes Carlo with "cobra-quick" returns, 6-4, 9-8, 6-4. That's how Björn handled a Krajicek, a Becker, a Sampras. Borg met guys with that power many times and was pushed to the utmost when they played their finest game -- and what happened? Did they beat Borg everytime? No, in fact, he beat them practically every single time for six straight years even under the worst imaginable pressure...

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 08:13 AM
Björn Borg said: "The absolute and only key to winning Wimby is your service return. Yes you have to serve great all the time too -- but pretty much everyone does that on grass anyway -- that's the surface demand. But to create breakpoints makes you win. Study your opponent's serve a lot in matches. How does he serve under pressure? Any patterns? Use that. Practice exact circumstances with a partner. Be fully prepared. Practice until you've returned great under exact that kind of opposition. You'll walk out the there to start the match with the knowledge that you can and probably will do it -- maybe even if you're not your absolute best that day -- because you've done it so many times before at practicing the exact situation..."

Adaption to the actual opposition and overcoming it characterized all eras. If peak Sampras, Borg and Laver et al had collided at peak they would've come up new answers for their respective opponents particular strength.

Sampras never faced the finest, most creative and flexible grass court returners: Laver, Borg, Connors, Nadal et al

They sometimes faced servers with that consistent, inspired carpet-bombing serve that he possessed. Mac 80-84 held serve quite astonishingly at Wimby. Tanner held serve amazingly many times times while he could throw in a bad year or two here and there. You had Dibley, Pasarell, Feaver and even Victor Amaya, who had a very uneven and flakey pro career but he was a pretty high-ranked pro -- among the 100 best players on the planet and everybody knew that on his day, when everything went Krajicek for him on superskidding fast grass that no-one would break him and his other strokes worked to perfection. For a few matches here and there, sprinkled out during the season from minor tourneys to the majors he did Sampras results -- but only a few matches. Never really whole tourneys or seasons. But that's what made his ranking.

When Amaya stepped on court with Borg at R1 at Wimby 1978 it was Björn's worst nightmare. It was Pete Sampras going out to face Krajicek in 1996. Amaya served like nobody else AND everything else worked for him too. When Borg had been asked before the tourney that year he said: "I especially don't want to meet Amaya in the first three or four rounds. I've seen him lately and he is in tremendous form. I am very familiar with his serve and it's very difficult to return and anticipate, especially with that very low, skidding bounce on the fresh, humid grass. He would be the worst opponent for anybody when he's like this."

Boris Becker and Pete Sampras were players who could do the things Amaya could do consistently and better with a huge margin.

The greatest returners could stave off the greatest serve-barrage you can ever imagine and still stand there victorious when the smoke had cleared.

To say that Sampras' serve-strength alone, during his reign, during his era -- which I doubt was the most compititive ever -- makes him leader of the Wimby Apex Predators is just taking things out of context undermining the entire statement.

There's a huge mountain of evidence that proves the contrary to be truthful...

you lost any credence from me when you put Nadal as one of the great all-time grass court return of serves.

Borgforever
04-30-2009, 08:19 AM
Well -- you never had any credence in my world. You should've listened to CyBorg's wise words to you and his review of contributions to this site...

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 08:56 AM
Well -- you never had any credence in my world. You should've listened to CyBorg's wise words to you and his review of contributions to this site...

what do I care about that nutjob? I was talking to you and your delusional opinion. oh, you are extremely childish..

Borgforever
04-30-2009, 09:30 AM
This is what I get on Wiki when I plug in the word "clutch":


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5b/Clutchdisc.jpg

My Bjorn, how you have changed?

Yes, Hood you're right as always. Björn hasn't aged as gracely as some others -- as we can see -- to say the least -- and his old golden mane isn't either what it used to be -- by that current picture, but still you can see in his face that clear suggestion that he would absolutely click with each and every opposite match-up at hand very, very effeciently -- especially at the critical and final stage -- essentially to me acting as a great clutch...

The stripes never fade on a real tiger...

jimbo333
04-30-2009, 09:33 AM
here is something ironic to the clueless "tennis fans"...Pete actually won Wimbledon on at leats 3 different grass surfaces. they changed at least 3 times in the 8 years he won 7 of them. so Pete did win more slams on "different" grass surfaces.:)

What Very FAST, Super FAST, and Amazingly FAST:)

There is no doubt that he was the best server on grass ever, Fact!!!

jimbo333
04-30-2009, 09:37 AM
What I'm so impressed with in this thread, is the fact that many Borg and Federer fans obviously agree that Laver was Greatest on grass. It really impresses me that Laver has more votes than them, as I'm sure Borg and Federer have more fans on here than Laver:)

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 09:55 AM
What Very FAST, Super FAST, and Amazingly FAST:)

There is no doubt that he was the best server on grass ever, Fact!!!

The lawn and tennis club were making changes to grass as far back as 1995. but yes, it was certainly faster in the 90's than today's speed. I should have been more clear, they also made changes to the tennis balls during the 90's.

jimbo333
04-30-2009, 10:05 AM
The lawn and tennis club were making changes to grass as far back as 1995. but yes, it was certainly faster in the 90's than today's speed. I should have been more clear, they also made changes to the tennis balls during the 90's.

You are absolutely correct:)

I just wish they would make the grass faster now, I've said this before, but they have gone too far the other way. In the 90's it was too fast, now it's too slow!!!

The-Champ
04-30-2009, 01:15 PM
The guy is just trolling. he has no clue what he is talking about and its obvious he does not like Sampras nor his fans. I will request a mod to look into his trolling. I am so, so tired of these posters. I gave myself a 2 week break for 2 reasons, one was the idiocy of certain posters and the other is the hypocricy.


You are correct. I do not like Sampras, therefore rank him as the GOAT.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3247500&postcount=30

Rickson
04-30-2009, 01:24 PM
The Roger vote is climbing fast.

The-Champ
04-30-2009, 01:25 PM
Well let me give you some #'s....

SAMPRAS @ WIMBLEDON
1994 - held 103/106 service games
1997 - held 116/118 service games (incl. 97 straight)
1998 - held 116/121 service games
1999 - held 96/101 service games
2000 - held 118/123 service games (incl. last 85 which was extented to 118 in 2001)

In Pete's 7 finals(5 of 7 finals he was never broken) he held 127 of 131 service games, including straks of 41 and61 consecutive holds. So Krajieck has the 2 weeks of his life and Ivanisevic who has beaten Sampras '92, Edberg #2, Becker, Rafter, Henman, Krajicek and Safin, played Sampras tough and thiat's all you have.

The #'s speak for themselves.


Thanks 380pistol. It's great to know that a Sampras fan can argue with reason. Azzuri on the other hand is...well....Azzuri.

hoodjem
04-30-2009, 01:44 PM
Yes, Hood you're right as always. Björn hasn't aged as gracely as some others -- as we can see -- to say the least -- and his old golden mane isn't either what it used to be -- by that current picture, but still you can see in his face that clear suggestion that he would absolutely click with each and every opposite match-up at hand very, very effeciently -- especially at the critical and final stage -- essentially to me acting as a great clutch...

The stripes never fade on a real tiger...

Yes. Good one. Thanks for the clarification.

He certainly looks like a real tiger playing doubles with Fed in that Youtube video against Mac and Blake. The Fortress has lightning quick reflexes still.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiDqx6NM68Y

The-Champ
04-30-2009, 01:47 PM
well my mistake, then its your comprehension (understanding) of the English language that makes you seem odd. You don't how to write it very well either. you also don't know much about tennis...oh well, maybe you have other interests that you are good at. Serioulsy, you seem to be trying to agitate people. You are making ridiculous statements and asking stupid questions. If you can't form a logical opinion or question, please go away.


Before you insult my writing, please make sure your writing ability is superior to a kid in kindergarten.

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 04:03 PM
You are absolutely correct:)

I just wish they would make the grass faster now, I've said this before, but they have gone too far the other way. In the 90's it was too fast, now it's too slow!!!

to us purists they did go to far. But I do understand it. Today's game has changed so much, but would love to see how players handle W with FAST grass. I think Roddick would do quite well (not that I care 2 smittens about the guy). I don't think Nadal would win on fast grass.:)

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 04:04 PM
You are correct. I do not like Sampras, therefore rank him as the GOAT.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3247500&postcount=30

I am not a Nadal fan and I rank him the greatest clay-court player of all-time. what is your point?

Azzurri
04-30-2009, 04:06 PM
Before you insult my writing, please make sure your writing ability is superior to a kid in kindergarten.

at least I understand what I read. You don't.

Chelsea_Kiwi
05-01-2009, 01:47 AM
Voted for Laver my order would be:
-Laver
-Sampras
-Federer

Laver won alot of his GS on Grass (Not sure how many) but I suppose Sampras won 7 Wimbledons with only one GS on grass so it is hard to choose. Would of been a great match. 1st and 2nd are pretty close IMO.

Rickson
05-01-2009, 03:12 AM
And Roger creeps into 2nd place. Watch Roger win this poll after Wimbledon.

jimbo333
05-01-2009, 03:27 AM
Well I still think it's great that Laver is in 2nd place in this poll considering how many Federer and Borg fans are out there:)

Respect to the TW community, and some really good points made early on in this thread clearly won the argument in favour of Laver!!!

AndrewD
05-01-2009, 06:21 AM
Rafter and Ivanisevic not in the same league as Leconte?!? I love Cash, but Pete would take him out on grass, and when was he healthy enough to any type of consitent damage??

Pete beat Becker at Wimbledon 3 times, and was never broken by Boris. McEnroe's Wimbledon odyssy was finished in 1984, I remember him losing the 1989 SF to McEnroe and the 1992 SF to Agassi... a Sampras advessary.

Sampras I'd take over Laver on grass. And yesif the played in the same era Pete would have his work cut out for him trying to take 7 titles in 8 years, but how many would Pete take from Rod??? Rosewall never won Wimbledon and is now a wrench to a man won 7 and was damn near unbeatable at SW19?!? Smith and Ashe... no. Newcombe has a shot, but if Pete can handle Becker on grass, he can handle Newk.


You just don't seem to understand that in sport, it doesn't matter that the other guy's best isn't as good as your best. All that matters is what you deliver on the day. Against players like a Brad Gilbert, Pete could play below his best and still win comfortably. Gilbert didn't have a champion game or a champion mentality. Against players like a Cash, Edberg, Becker, Smith, Ashe, Rosewall, McEnroe, etc he couldn't play below his best. Unlike a Gilbert, they did possess a champion game and a champion mentality. They wouldn't allow opportunities to pass by and they wouldn't choke in the way lesser players do.
Pete did not have to play against guys like that at or near their peak (Becker was his best opponent but about 4 years past his best tennis)

Honestly, that is one of the fundamentals of sport. How can you discuss anything or argue a point without understanding or, at the very least, acknowledging such a basic tenet? If you can't or won't it just invalidates everything you say.

CyBorg
05-01-2009, 06:59 AM
You just don't seem to understand that in sport, it doesn't matter that the other guy's best isn't as good as your best. All that matters is what you deliver on the day. Against players like a Brad Gilbert, Pete could play below his best and still win comfortably. Gilbert didn't have a champion game or a champion mentality. Against players like a Cash, Edberg, Becker, Smith, Ashe, Rosewall, McEnroe, etc he couldn't play below his best. Unlike a Gilbert, they did possess a champion game and a champion mentality. They wouldn't allow opportunities to pass by and they wouldn't choke in the way lesser players do.
Pete did not have to play against guys like that at or near their peak (Becker was his best opponent but about 4 years past his best tennis)

Honestly, that is one of the fundamentals of sport. How can you discuss anything or argue a point without understanding or, at the very least, acknowledging such a basic tenet? If you can't or won't it just invalidates everything you say.

Good post. There's a common tendency on these boards to refer to players as 'fixed entities'.

This is a kind of a linear and two dimensional understanding of a person. Eg. imagine a straight line or axis with numbers from one to 10 that run across it. Sampras would be, for example, 9 and he's always nine.

However a more accurate measure, if there could be one, would be more three dimensional, complex, involving numerous variables. Not only for the players themselves, but also the situation - a situation, the setting, involves certain elements in the environment that players also have to deal with. Often the victor is the player who best adjusts to these variables.

Cash was the kind of player who at a certain time and place could play absolutely ridiculous tennis. He would have a volley advantage over Pete, but Pete would have a serve advantage. However ultimately it would come down to how the two adjust to their surroundings. The bounce, maybe the grass is a little slippery, maybe too much wind or not enough. Maybe one of them wants it more than the other.

What made Sampras a 'great' on grass wasn't just a particular skill set that we can mechanistically abstract, but rather his persistence and lasting power. He wasn't so much over-the-top best, as he was just good enough year-after-year (which is really all that one needs). And this really is what greatness is all about - it's reaching a level and maintaining it.

So, player A is greater than player B probably because he maintained his level longer and worked harder to stay there from year to year (or avoided injuries). However player B at his level was perhaps every bit as good, maybe better, maybe worse. We don't know.

hoodjem
05-01-2009, 07:14 AM
Good post. There's a common tendency on these boards to refer to players as 'fixed entities'.

This is a kind of a linear and two dimensional understanding of a person. Eg. imagine a straight line or axis with numbers from one to 10 that run across it. Sampras would be, for example, 9 and he's always nine.

However a more accurate measure, if there could be one, would be more three dimensional, complex, involving numerous variables. Not only for the players themselves, but also the situation - a situation, the setting, involves certain elements in the environment that players also have to deal with. Often the victor is the player who best adjusts to these variables.
Interesting point. So at what number would you put Sampras (on your 10-point scale) when he lost to George Bastl?

CyBorg
05-01-2009, 07:19 AM
Interesting point. So at what number would you put Sampras (on your 10-point scale) when he lost to George Bastl?

No, no, no. The scale is not recommended! :)

GPG
05-01-2009, 07:25 AM
As I started investigating, Pete wasn't the greatest on Grass. as somebody said before, he lost a lot of matches on grass during his primer, while for example, Roger, since 2003 he hasn't lost more than 1 match

Rickson
05-01-2009, 07:31 AM
And Roger takes 2nd place officially.

CyBorg
05-01-2009, 08:17 AM
And Roger takes 2nd place officially.

What's that you say?

Borgforever
05-01-2009, 09:35 AM
Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest returners and retrievers the game of tennis has ever seen -- even including the slower surfaces. He now holds three GS-majors at the same time -- the only one ever on three different surfaces -- a record he's alone at owning (helped by the era naturally but that's not in any way a conclusive answer and can't be used as a complete dismissal, only as contextual detail) and he's returning the big-servers of today (Roddick, Federer, Karlovic and many others) like nobody else.

Rafa's serve is extremely efficient, fiercely focused and strong in it's consistency in itself -- being able to hold serve against Agassi and others for several rounds in 2006 and for major stretches against a player of Roger's caliber in three straight Wimby finals. There are numerous examples -- too many to name here. Nadal's return game here is the where he finds glory. Just check out his amazing return-games in almost every match. They are minor to great masterpieces of creative counter-punch aggression.

I also would like to underline that although I placed a "to a certain extent"-label on Mr. Federer naming my top grass bunch -- I would like to clarify that Federer would probably have done very, very well on old grass -- his game only getting better on even faster surfaces and even more marvelously creative in it's unpredictable stunningly angled stylistic mix of slugger and elegance. The Rogering Feather's USO streak suggests a lot for me against the old grass dudes. He would outgun a lot IMO even against these guys. He's that great.

I also give kudos to AndrewD's and CyBorg's comments regarding the players chances against each other -- and I have still to find a post pc1's written that I disagree with :-) That still doesn't create twins...

The battles between these guy's would be uncontrolled tennis-Armageddon and I sincerely believe every match-up between these King Kong's with nuclear weapons on grass will go the distance -- only to be concluded depending on one single point. Maybe just plain luck.

I think they would be all over each other like pack of pitbulls with rabies...

CyBorg
05-01-2009, 09:49 AM
I also forgot to add that we often forget that great matches between players are sometimes partly decided by preceding matches. That's another variable - eg. fatigue.

The best recent example is the 2007 Wimbledon final. Nadal coming in on no days' rest - I believe four matches in four days, or something like that. Federer coming in playing perhaps two in five (my memory is faulty here). This was all caused by the rains and somewhat poorly thought out scheduling.

The match went five sets. Turn the variables around and I think there's little chance Federer beats Nadal in that match, let alone make it close.

So, unless we're talking exhibitions where players are typically rested and just concentrating on a particular match, there will exist complex, simultaneous dynamics. None of them can be really understood in full.

If we could diagram it, I would say we would have something resembling a complex lattice rather than a straight line. Something three-dimensional. There's a simple man v man dynamic, complicated by surrounding and preceding variables. Some would say, "tennis gods", but there's probably concrete mathematics that could be applied by someone smarter than me.

In all of this, we can judge a player by his ability to play in harmony or wholeness with the environment. The best ones usually do - Nadal has a kind of holistic relationship with tennis; he doesn't fret about the past. But some other guys react differently to situations, depending on the context - it can be unpredictable. Motivation sometimes arises out of personal reasons, unknown to us.

krosero
05-01-2009, 12:14 PM
I also forgot to add that we often forget that great matches between players are sometimes partly decided by preceding matches. That's another variable - eg. fatigue.Confidence, too, can be affected by circumstances. A rivalry's peculiar circumstances can tip confidence toward one player. Lendl's first three Slam matches against Becker were at Wimbledon and were all losses. In a way the "biggest" matches of their rivalry were played on Becker's best and Lendl's worst surface -- and the first one set the tone, with Lendl, the world #1 player, losing in straight sets to an 18-year-old. Only then did they meet in the USO final, because Becker previously hadn't been good enough to make that round. In that USO final, I don't know whether it was mental or physical fatigue, or lack of confidence, but you can see it affecting Lendl when the match got close.

Similarly, Federer and Nadal played twice at Roland Garros (again the world's #1 losing to a teen) before they met at Wimbledon. And once they started meeting there Nadal still took longer before he lived up to his seeding at Slams on hardcourt, arguably Federer's best surface (those meetings happen now, not when Federer was #1 and dominant but after he inevitably fell off and began struggling).

But how do we picture the Becker/Lendl or Federer/Nadal meetings if we imagine them each at their peak, having never heard of each other? It's a little weird, taking them out of their history like that (imagine doing the same with Borg/Connors or Borg/McEnroe), but it's kind of necessary when the rivalry is between two players whose peaks did not overlap.

Often I like to imagine these rivalries as an old-style tour between two players, because there were decades of great tennis in that now largely forgotten format ("forgotten" by new fans). But such a format makes the players deal with things like fatigue, adaptability, etc. Playing every night on poor indoor courts, scraping for your living, with few people watching, is one way to test who the better player is. Having them meet only three or four times a year at the Slams, with huge audiences, is another. Sometimes I like to combine the formats, with the Slams as "stops" on the mano-a-mano tour.

krosero
05-01-2009, 12:36 PM
Good post. There's a common tendency on these boards to refer to players as 'fixed entities'.

This is a kind of a linear and two dimensional understanding of a person. Eg. imagine a straight line or axis with numbers from one to 10 that run across it. Sampras would be, for example, 9 and he's always nine.

However a more accurate measure, if there could be one, would be more three dimensional, complex, involving numerous variables. Not only for the players themselves, but also the situation - a situation, the setting, involves certain elements in the environment that players also have to deal with. Often the victor is the player who best adjusts to these variables.These are all great points you're making, and particularly I like the way you refer to a three-dimensional person. You're picturing the player, not as the abstract "god", but as the living, breathing body that encounters changing circumstances and flesh-and-blood issues like fatigue, burnout, injury, etc.

I agree with you that often there's a tendency to think of players only as their peak entities; and I get carried away with it myself at times. But where I really try to avoid it is when I talk about injuries. Take Sampras as an example (just because we're talking about him; there are other examples like Federer or Nadal). Often you hear that Agassi was "lucky" to win the 1999 USO because Sampras was injured. You almost never hear Agassi getting the credit for staying healthy and playing at his top form. Neither his hard work, nor Pete getting injured because he's training hard and playing hard, too, has anything to do with luck. Sports come with injuries. You train hard to be a great champion, chances are pretty good that you're going to get injured, and not just at any old time, but at a pretty inconvenient time, sooner or later. The law of averages catches up with everyone.

Some players, either because they're well rested from sabbaticals, or because of their training regimen, or playing style, get less injured than others. Or more. None of that has to do with "luck." No one can show up at their peak all the time, and sometimes due to injury they can't show up at all. How else could it be?

That's why I wonder how how Sampras or Agassi might fare in a mano-a-mano tour over the course of a year. In the 50s and 60s it seems to me that most of these matches were played indoors and that would be an advantage for Sampras. (Maybe Agassi gets the edge on cow dung. Did the old pros really play some of their matches on that?) On the other hand I wonder how Pete would hold up on such a tour with his thalassemia minor.

pc1
05-01-2009, 01:03 PM
Confidence, too, can be affected by circumstances. A rivalry's peculiar circumstances can tip confidence toward one player. Lendl's first three Slam matches against Becker were at Wimbledon and were all losses. In a way the "biggest" matches of their rivalry were played on Becker's best and Lendl's worst surface -- and the first one set the tone, with Lendl, the world #1 player, losing in straight sets to an 18-year-old. Only then did they meet in the USO final, because Becker previously hadn't been good enough to make that round. In that USO final, I don't know whether it was mental or physical fatigue, or lack of confidence, but you can see it affecting Lendl when the match got close.

Similarly, Federer and Nadal played twice at Roland Garros (again the world's #1 losing to a teen) before they met at Wimbledon. And once they started meeting there Nadal still took longer before he lived up to his seeding at Slams on hardcourt, arguably Federer's best surface (those meetings happen now, not when Federer was #1 and dominant but after he inevitably fell off and began struggling).

But how do we picture the Becker/Lendl or Federer/Nadal meetings if we imagine them each at their peak, having never heard of each other? It's a little weird, taking them out of their history like that (imagine doing the same with Borg/Connors or Borg/McEnroe), but it's kind of necessary when the rivalry is between two players whose peaks did not overlap.

Often I like to imagine these rivalries as an old-style tour between two players, because there were decades of great tennis in that now largely forgotten format ("forgotten" by new fans). But such a format makes the players deal with things like fatigue, adaptability, etc. Playing every night on poor indoor courts, scraping for your living, with few people watching, is one way to test who the better player is. Having them meet only three or four times a year at the Slams, with huge audiences, is another. Sometimes I like to combine the formats, with the Slams as "stops" on the mano-a-mano tour.

Krosero and Cyborg,

Very interesting posts. In the old tours they often would plays for many days in a row without a break. When Riggs played Jack Kramer he complained that he couldn't serve at full strength every night, while Kramer a much better man had a serve that took less out of him. It's very possible that that was a major factor why the tour fell away after a very close start. A tour like that may not be representative of the true strength of the player.

I spoke to a member of the Gonzalez family a few years ago and this person told me he believed that when Pancho Gonzalez played Lew Hoad in the late 1950's that Pancho was not in top shape when he started the tour and that's why Gonzalez fell behind. Pancho was able to catch up and eventually pull away once he played himself into shape. That's debatable and the person was obviously very partial toward Pancho but it is possible.

Gonzalez was the perfect player for the old Pro Tour. He won his serve easily most of the time with a very smooth effortless motion. The wear and tear on his body must have been less than on most players for a match. Over a tour of 100 matches it probably helped him tremendously.

CyBorg
05-01-2009, 01:05 PM
Often you hear that Agassi was "lucky" to win the 1999 USO because Sampras was injured. You almost never hear Agassi getting the credit for staying healthy and playing at his top form. Neither his hard work, nor Pete getting injured because he's training hard and playing hard, too, has anything to do with luck. Sports come with injuries. You train hard to be a great champion, chances are pretty good that you're going to get injured, and not just at any old time, but at a pretty inconvenient time, sooner or later. The law of averages catches up with everyone.

Often you hear this from me. :)

Yes, staying healthy is important. I think Rios in his peak form may have been better than Courier - that spring stretch in 1998. But it didn't last.

krosero
05-01-2009, 01:50 PM
Often you hear this from me. :)
Actually unless you're totally joking, I hadn't remembered that.

krosero
05-01-2009, 01:58 PM
A tour like that may not be representative of the true strength of the player.Perhaps not the well-rested peak strength of the player. But it does measure some important qualities that would be missed in a one-off.

Gonzalez was the perfect player for the old Pro Tour. He won his serve easily most of the time with a very smooth effortless motion. The wear and tear on his body must have been less than on most players for a match. He was also a smooth mover, wasn't he?

CyBorg
05-01-2009, 02:03 PM
Actually unless you're totally joking, I hadn't remembered that.

Sorta kinda. The argument was that Agassi wasn't a better player on hardcourts than Pete in 1999 as Pete had no trouble beating him in Cincinnati and then missed the US Open (where I said he'd probaby beat Andre).

However this is different than saying that Andre's US Open win was undeserved. Rather, surface-specific I felt that Agassi wasn't the best player on any surface that year.

But this has nothing to do with luck. Just a different abstraction - dividing the year into surfaces versus dividing the year into grand slam results.

krosero
05-01-2009, 02:06 PM
Sorta kinda. The argument was that Agassi wasn't a better player on hardcourts than Pete in 1999 as Pete had no trouble beating him in Cincinnati and then missed the US Open (where I said he'd probaby beat Andre).
Yes, this I remember you saying, and I think it's legitimate. The absence of the favorite at an event matters when you're looking at certain things. It's just not "luck" or, as you say, something that makes the win undeserved.

thalivest
05-01-2009, 02:41 PM
I guess in fairness to Andre, Agassi was really the best hard court player in 1995, but he didnt beat Pete in the match that mattered most on hard courts. Kind of the reverse of 1999, with the exception Sampras missed that chance by injury not through defeat that actually played out. Just the odds of Agassi turning the tables on Sampras and beating him in a U.S Open final in a year Sampras is dominating Agassi overall and hard courts overall is much less than Sampras doing this to Agassi like he did in 1995. Sampras is the one who raises his game for the biggest events like few others, certainly more than Agassi.

krosero
05-01-2009, 03:11 PM
I guess in fairness to Andre, Agassi was really the best hard court player in 1995, but he didnt beat Pete in the match that mattered most on hard courts. I don't know that there's any way to speak of one match that mattered most. Those two Slam finals on hardcourts stand out from the smaller tournaments, the way I look at it. They featured different surface speeds and were split between the two men (who split other finals that year).

Who knows, maybe the USO final was a "bigger" match than the AO. It certainly had more hype (from what I remember, watching it in America). And because it came later it decided the #1 spot for the year, since Sampras had Wimbledon; but that does not make the USO final the greatest hardcourt match or the USO the greatest hardcourt championship; it just means that the drama around the USO final was bigger because each man came in with one Slam to his credit.

Objectively I don't know that people will look at the recordbook and say that the USO was clearly the one hardcourt championship that mattered more than all the rest. I don't know that Aussies would concede that, and I'm pretty sure they would deny that the USO is clearly a greater championship.

I do think that these two men personally wanted the American championship more than the Australian, and that because of all that emotional investment, and the hype thrown onto their rivalry, Andre took the loss harder than he needed to.

krosero
05-01-2009, 03:17 PM
But wasn't this thread about grass? :)

pc1
05-01-2009, 05:19 PM
But wasn't this thread about grass? :)

Okay to get back to grass courts again, how would Jack Kramer rank on the great grass court players list? Just to get back on topic.

urban
05-01-2009, 10:10 PM
I don't like these threads spreading around about the greatest on this and that. Technology plays a big part, and grass tennis was changed in the mid 80s by the innovation of graphite rackets. Becker was the first of the new power breed. Edberg, who played wood in his youth, was the last of the older grass style, which relied more on pace change, dinks and slice, with great emphasis on the return. It was said, that three strokes were fundamental for grass: second serve, backhand return, and first volley. Sampras made the second serve a major weapon, almost as hard as his first. There were better returners and volleyers, and Sampras was imo not a natural grass courter as Becker, but under the conditions with new rackets and fast grass, this combination of first and second serve was deadly. If pressed, my best 5 grass courters i have seen, were Laver, Newcombe, Mac, Becker and Sampras. Borg was no natural grass courter, he was good of course, but he would have had difficulties with all 5 i named. Becker at his best 1986-89 had that momentum of mental and physical strength, he didn't blink, was confident, powerful and absolute fearless. Still he lost 4 out of 7 finals at Big W, mainly due to being flat on the final day.
On Kramer: in a 1986 book by Norman Giller, about all kind of greatest lists, there was a computer list of post war II Wimbledon players, with Kramer coming second behind Laver. In many minds long afterwards, including the old Wim chairman Duncan Macaulay, Kramer's Wim performance in 1947, was seen as the best after WW II. When i saw pictures lately here on the old clips side, i was surprised, that Kramer didn't come in after all his serves. I always thought, that he invented the serve and volley game.

pc1
05-02-2009, 09:25 AM
I don't like these threads spreading around about the greatest on this and that. Technology plays a big part, and grass tennis was changed in the mid 80s by the innovation of graphite rackets. Becker was the first of the new power breed. Edberg, who played wood in his youth, was the last of the older grass style, which relied more on pace change, dinks and slice, with great emphasis on the return. It was said, that three strokes were fundamental for grass: second serve, backhand return, and first volley. Sampras made the second serve a major weapon, almost as hard as his first. There were better returners and volleyers, and Sampras was imo not a natural grass courter as Becker, but under the conditions with new rackets and fast grass, this combination of first and second serve was deadly. If pressed, my best 5 grass courters i have seen, were Laver, Newcombe, Mac, Becker and Sampras. Borg was no natural grass courter, he was good of course, but he would have had difficulties with all 5 i named. Becker at his best 1986-89 had that momentum of mental and physical strength, he didn't blink, was confident, powerful and absolute fearless. Still he lost 4 out of 7 finals at Big W, mainly due to being flat on the final day.
On Kramer: in a 1986 book by Norman Giller, about all kind of greatest lists, there was a computer list of post war II Wimbledon players, with Kramer coming second behind Laver. In many minds long afterwards, including the old Wim chairman Duncan Macaulay, Kramer's Wim performance in 1947, was seen as the best after WW II. When i saw pictures lately here on the old clips side, i was surprised, that Kramer didn't come in after all his serves. I always thought, that he invented the serve and volley game.

Urban, I think you're right. On these type of threads I have my own opinions but I usually don't want to name my list in full because it does depend on the technology. Federer is excellent with today's technology and current Wimbledon grass but if he played in 1970 with wood would he be favored over a John Newcombe? Who knows? I must admit I do enjoy some of the hypothetical discussions, not all of them but some.

Kramer claims that he started regularly following his 1st and 2nd seconds to the net as a way to cope with Bobby Riggs during their tour. According to Kramer's book Riggs used to often float his returns deep to Kramer's backhand on Kramer's second serve and come to the net so I guess Kramer figured he had to beat Riggs to the net on second serve.

urban
05-02-2009, 10:12 AM
My take on Federer as a grass courter. He did look like the next big thing on grass in 2003, when he played wonderfully in his Wim semi with Roddick (the then favorite) and Flipper in the final. In 2004 i saw him beat Fish in the Halle final, a super performance, when he didn't set a foot wrong. In those years, he was offensive on par with Sampras. His serve was not as hard, but quite versatile and with great spin. Especially his right hand serve wide to the ad court put returners out of reach, as if it were a lefty serve. His volley looked solid and strong, his forehand from the forecourt - not a half-volley, but a solid whipping stroke -as deadly as i had ever seen. Defensively he looked even better and more complete than Sampras, with great returns and passing shots.
Although he won further at the Big W, since 2004/ 2005 he changed his game, taking a safer stand at the baseline, not coming foreward any more, playing more hard court than grass court tennis. It worked well on the slower grass, and against the likes of Hewitt and Roddick, no good volleyers themselves, but Nadal exploited these tactics, and i fear that Djoko and Murray will also exploit it in the coming years.

380pistol
05-02-2009, 10:30 AM
My take on Federer as a grass courter. He did look like the next big thing on grass in 2003, when he played wonderfully in his Wim semi with Roddick (the then favorite) and Flipper in the final. In 2004 i saw him beat Fish in the Halle final, a super performance, when he didn't set a foot wrong. In those years, he was offensive on par with Sampras. His serve was not as hard, but quite versatile and with great spin. Especially his right hand serve wide to the ad court put returners out of reach, as if it were a lefty serve. His volley looked solid and strong, his forehand from the forecourt - not a half-volley, but a solid whipping stroke -as deadly as i had ever seen. Defensively he looked even better and more complete than Sampras, with great returns and passing shots.
Although he won further at the Big W, since 2004/ 2005 he changed his game, taking a safer stand at the baseline, not coming foreward any more, playing more hard court than grass court tennis. It worked well on the slower grass, and against the likes of Hewitt and Roddick, no good volleyers themselves, but Nadal exploited these tactics, and i fear that Djoko and Murray will also exploit it in the coming years.

Agree and disagree. Sampras was offensivly ahead of Federer, but Roger's a better (or more willing to) defend than Sampras. Roger had an ability to handle big hitters (Roddick/P'sis), but also attack and play offense from many areas of the court. Since 2004 his volleying has dipped and he's retreated more to the baseline in recent years (even at Wimbledon), than the all around player he was when he won his first 2 Wimbledons.

Sampras is slightly more accurate with his serve than Federer, and combinded with the higher velocity he can deliver it at, as well as his 2nd serve gives him the nod there. Federer somewhat became the "safer" player you mentioned, maybe as a sign of the times. I agree Nadal (if he hasn't already), Djokovic and Murray can exploit Roger's "safe/hardcourt" grassgame as you call it. But if he can play an all around game, come forward from time to time, S&V a bit as well, he should be able to handle them.

jimbo333
05-02-2009, 07:31 PM
Another great thread:)

And Laver still ahead of Federer, amazing really, but great to see!

CyBorg
05-03-2009, 08:52 AM
I think it's surprising and amusing that Federer is no longer getting the votes like he used to.

pc1
05-03-2009, 10:11 AM
I think it's surprising and amusing that Federer is no longer getting the votes like he used to.


Two years ago Federer would have led this poll by a huge margin.

egn
05-03-2009, 10:12 AM
Agree and disagree. Sampras was offensivly ahead of Federer, but Roger's a better (or more willing to) defend than Sampras. Roger had an ability to handle big hitters (Roddick/P'sis), but also attack and play offense from many areas of the court. Since 2004 his volleying has dipped and he's retreated more to the baseline in recent years (even at Wimbledon), than the all around player he was when he won his first 2 Wimbledons.

Sampras is slightly more accurate with his serve than Federer, and combinded with the higher velocity he can deliver it at, as well as his 2nd serve gives him the nod there. Federer somewhat became the "safer" player you mentioned, maybe as a sign of the times. I agree Nadal (if he hasn't already), Djokovic and Murray can exploit Roger's "safe/hardcourt" grassgame as you call it. But if he can play an all around game, come forward from time to time, S&V a bit as well, he should be able to handle them.

Brilliant post. Fed needs to start showing his S&V again if he wants to work his way up the grass greats.

ajaxman
05-03-2009, 10:16 AM
defenitly Pancho Gonzales

dincuss
05-03-2009, 10:49 AM
Sampras for sure, but if Ivanisevic was more mentally strong when he played him, then I would Laver or Federer.
btw why isnt ivanisevic on the list?

GameSampras
05-03-2009, 01:15 PM
I think it's surprising and amusing that Federer is no longer getting the votes like he used to.

I think what has happened to Fed this past year has something to do with it. I would agree that Fed probably would be leading just about every poll 2 years ago.

anointedone
05-03-2009, 01:22 PM
I think what has happened to Fed this past year has something to do with it. I would agree that Fed probably would leading just about every poll 2 years ago. But to some perception is reality

Federer's reputation has definitely taken a huge hit in the last year.

JamaicanYoute
05-11-2009, 10:01 AM
Federer's reputation has definitely taken a huge hit in the last year.

Which proves that it's pretty safe to say most people on these boards just jump on bandwagons IMO...

Rabbit
05-11-2009, 11:35 AM
Federer's reputation has definitely taken a huge hit in the last year.

Yeah, one 5-set all day match will do that to a 5-time (in a row) winner...

Nalbandian great
05-27-2009, 04:06 PM
pistol pete sampras :)

TennisExpert
08-08-2009, 01:56 PM
Pancho Gonzalez, close to Borg, Sampras and Fed

DunlopDood
08-08-2009, 02:02 PM
Pete was the best fast court player in history. His serve and volley style took his opponents strengths away. If fed and Pete play 10 Wimbledon finals Pete wins 7.

Grass_for_cows
08-08-2009, 05:50 PM
Where's the option for Ivan Lendl?

luckyboy1300
08-08-2009, 06:15 PM
Pete was the best fast court player in history. His serve and volley style took his opponents strengths away. If fed and Pete play 10 Wimbledon finals Pete wins 7.

where did you get this assumption? federer beat sampras in their lone meeting in wimbledon. while both are out of their primes, sampras played pretty well that day having a very high 1st serve % and saving breakpoints like crazy. federer was also zoning then most of the match. even though that's only 1 match, it's the closest evidence one can get about their would-be rivalry. the 2 played exactly to their strengths and fed came up on top.

now on topic, i say fed certainly has a case, winning 6 of the last 7 wimbledons and 7 straight finals, 65 grass winning streak, etc.

hoodjem
01-04-2011, 02:49 PM
Wow! I am amazed: a poll that Fed did not win!.?

hoodjem
01-04-2011, 04:28 PM
1. Sampras
2. Federer
3. Laver
4. Gonzales
5. Borg
6. Tilden
7. Becker
8. Edberg
9. Emerson
10. Perry
11. Newcombe
12. McEnroe
13. Rosewall
14. Sedgman
15. Kramer

NadalAgassi
01-04-2011, 05:34 PM
1. Sampras
2. Laver
3. Federer
4. Borg
5. Gonzales
6. Tilden
7. Becker
8. Edberg
9. Emerson
10. Perry
11. Newcombe
12. McEnroe
13. Rosewall
14. Sedgman
15. Kramer

Borg higher than Gonzales? I know Borg has an amazing record at Wimbledon but would he have beaten Gonzales much if they went head to head at their mutual peaks. He had a very hard time even trying to beat an up and coming McEnroe (winning 1980 classic by the skin of his teeth, losing decisively in 1981) while he was still at or near his best.

TMF
01-04-2011, 05:38 PM
1. Sampras
2. Laver
3. Federer
4. Borg
5. Gonzales
6. Tilden
7. Becker
8. Edberg
9. Emerson
10. Perry
11. Newcombe
12. McEnroe
13. Rosewall
14. Sedgman
15. Kramer

I'm sorry but Fed and Borg > Laver.

NadalAgassi
01-04-2011, 05:39 PM
I'm sorry but Fed and Borg > Laver.

You think Borg would have a winning record vs a prime Laver on grass. Seriously, LOL!

TMF
01-04-2011, 07:24 PM
You think Borg would have a winning record vs a prime Laver on grass. Seriously, LOL!

Yes. Another question is would Laver make 6 straight finals? I don't think so. And Borg has done it in an open era.

Fandango
01-04-2011, 08:34 PM
Roger Federer-The Greatest Grass Court Player Of All Time

GGCPOAT :)

hoodjem
01-05-2011, 01:53 PM
From the ATP FedEx ATP Reliability Index
(Is this Open-Era only?)

1. Roger Federer .800 0 8-2 .873 11 96-14
2. John McEnroe .000 0 0-0 .856 8 119-20
3. Bjorn Borg .000 0 0-0 .847 6 61-11
4. Pete Sampras .000 0 0-0 .835 10 101-20
5. Jimmy Connors .000 0 0-0 .833 9 169-34
6. Rod Laver .000 0 0-0 .833 5 65-13
7. Rafael Nadal .900 1 9-1 .833 3 40-8
8. Boris Becker .000 0 0-0 .823 7 116-25
9. Andy Roddick .667 0 4-2 .811 4 73-17
10. Lleyton Hewitt .889 1 8-1 .808 7 101-24
11. Stefan Edberg .000 0 0-0 .786 5 99-27
12. Andy Murray .750 0 6-2 .784 1 40-11
13. Michael Stich .000 0 0-0 .782 4 61-17
14. John Newcombe .000 0 0-0 .779 5 116-33
15. Ken Rosewall .000 0 0-0 .777 5 108-31
16. Arthur Ashe .000 0 0-0 .767 4 102-31
17. Ivan Lendl .000 0 0-0 .764 2 81-25
18. Tony Roche .000 0 0-0 .759 4 107-34
19. Alex Metreveli .000 0 0-0 .758 2 69-22
20. Tom Okker .000 0 0-0 .757 1 84-27
21. Patrick Rafter .000 0 0-0 .747 4 74-25
22. Mats Wilander .000 0 0-0 .746 2 50-17
23. Roscoe Tanner .000 0 0-0 .742 3 115-40
24. Mario Ancic .000 0 0-0 .741 2 40-14
25. Pat Cash .000 0 0-0 .738 3 104-37
26. Novak Djokovic .750 0 6-2 .738 0 31-11
27. Andre Agassi .000 0 0-0 .735 1 50-18
28. Stan Smith .000 0 0-0 .730 4 111-41
29. Guillermo Vilas .000 0 0-0 .729 4 70-26
30. Fred Stolle .000 0 0-0 .729 3 35-13

hoodjem
01-05-2011, 01:59 PM
I'm sorry but Fed and Borg > Laver.Maybe. Don't forget Laver's AO and USO wins on grass. Laver has 11 slam wins, 9 of which are on grass.

borg number one
01-05-2011, 02:02 PM
Maybe. Don't forget Laver's AO and USO wins on grass. Laver has 11 slam wins, 9 of which are on grass.

Actually, I'd say Borg and Laver > Federer. I think Laver would be too tough for Federer on the old grass courts. Just my opinion. Borg is the only man to have won Wimbledon in the Open Era without the loss of a set.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bPsEi3UxWo (Thanks Borgforever)


(Also see video of the 1981 SF vs. Connors)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44B8TaTS67M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljh3fzTDCmM&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND6BqlTwZbU&feature=related

He would be tough for any player on grass courts, but I like the fact that four greats Laver, Borg, Sampras, and Federer are also considered great grass court players. That says something about Wimbledon.

jrepac
01-05-2011, 02:28 PM
[QUOTE=hoodjem;5298071]From the ATP FedEx ATP Reliability Index
(Is this Open-Era only?)

1. Roger Federer .800 0 8-2 .873 11 96-14
2. John McEnroe .000 0 0-0 .856 8 119-20
3. Bjorn Borg .000 0 0-0 .847 6 61-11
4. Pete Sampras .000 0 0-0 .835 10 101-20
5. Jimmy Connors .000 0 0-0 .833 9 169-34
6. Rod Laver .000 0 0-0 .833 5 65-13
7. Rafael Nadal .900 1 9-1 .833 3 40-8
8. Boris Becker .000 0 0-0 .823 7 116-25
9. Andy Roddick .667 0 4-2 .811 4 73-17
10. Lleyton Hewitt .889 1 8-1 .808 7 101-24

These are grass matches only I assume; wow....I did feel that Mac and Jimmy should have been on the original list of choices. Both were excellent grass court players. I never saw Laver in action, but you cannot argue with his record. This kind of list gets tricky since 3/4 of the GS events were on Grass up until 1974. But, based on who I have actually seen, I do lean towards Sampras even tho' some have pointed out that he was not so hot on grass outside of the Big W.

urban
01-05-2011, 11:34 PM
Laver won more than 5 grass court events in open era, from memory 1968: Wim, US pro, 1969: AO, Wim, USO,1970: Queens, South Orange. That would give him ca. 10 more winning matches. After 1970, he only played grass a few times, in 1971 he shared the first prize at Bristol (rained out). By the way: he was Wim finalist 6 years running, with a 5 year intervall, and won there 5 times running, if you include the Wim pro 1967. His record of 31 (34) matches won was always regarded as streak record, before Borg broke it.

hoodjem
01-06-2011, 06:21 AM
Laver won more than 5 grass court events in open era, from memory 1968: Wim, US pro, 1969: AO, Wim, USO,1970: Queens, South Orange. That would give him ca. 10 more winning matches. After 1970, he only played grass a few times, in 1971 he shared the first prize at Bristol (rained out). By the way: he was Wim finalist 6 years running, with a 5 year intervall, and won there 5 times running, if you include the Wim pro 1967. His record of 31 (34) matches won was always regarded as streak record, before Borg broke it.

Oh yea! While maybe not at the very top (it's hard to argue against 6 or 7 Wimbers titles), Laver belongs in the top-five of any list of all time greats on grass.

The greatness of Laver was that, while he had a style of play that worked best on grass, his totally complete game with no weaknesses was such that he could adapt to win on clay or any surface.

BTURNER
01-06-2011, 06:25 AM
Oh yea! While maybe not at the very top (it's hard to argue against 6 or 7 Wimbers titles), Laver belongs in the top-five of any list of all time greats on grass.

He's a panty-waist second tier champion from an era of journeymen-got-lucky. Now back to GOAT Nadal....

urban
01-06-2011, 06:44 AM
Just going by the numbers of the ATP. Can anyone say, what other grass tourney Borg won outside the 5 Wimbledons? He is credited there with 6 titles. To my knowlegde he seldom, if ever played Queens, maybe some Australian or NZ grass event.

Gizo
01-06-2011, 06:48 AM
Just going by the numbers of the ATP. Can anyone say, what other grass tourney Borg won outside the 5 Wimbledons? He is credited there with 6 titles. To my knowlegde he seldom, if ever played Queens, maybe some Australian or NZ grass event.

His Adelaide title in 1974 is counted by the ATP as his other grass court title.

However for some reason his Auckland title on grass in the same year is not counted by the ATP.

hoodjem
01-06-2011, 07:01 AM
He's a panty-waist second tier champion from an era of journeymen-got-lucky. Now back to GOAT Nadal....Yep. They only played on Sunday afternoons after a few martinis. :lol:

HarveyPitnik
01-06-2011, 01:47 PM
Best male grass court player that I have ever seen is Stefan Edberg. (So I voted 'other')

TMF
01-06-2011, 02:12 PM
Ok, I gotta jump in. I don’t mind giving credit to Laver for all of his win on grass, but keep in mind many of his tournaments are played on grass in those day, but today, there’s only 2 grass tournaments. Federer no question is an excellent grass players and I’m sure he would rack up many grass titles given opportunity. In fact, if this era had tournaments mostly played on grass instead of hc, one can argue Fed would have even more dominating career.

So, I’m not against you picking Laver over Fed on grass, but just let you know he had more opportunity to shined than Fed. Just like someone argue Rosewall would have won Wimbledon if he had a chance to played in the 60s.

hoodjem
01-06-2011, 04:11 PM
Ok, I gotta jump in. I don’t mind giving credit to Laver for all of his win on grass, but keep in mind many of his tournaments are played on grass in those day, but today, there’s only 2 grass tournaments. Federer no question is an excellent grass players and I’m sure he would rack up many grass titles given opportunity. In fact, if this era had tournaments mostly played on grass instead of hc, one can argue Fed would have even more dominating career.

So, I’m not against you picking Laver over Fed on grass, but just let you know he had more opportunity to shined than Fed. Just like someone argue Rosewall would have won Wimbledon if he had a chance to played in the 60s.This is certainly true. The simple fact is there are less grass court tournaments today.

JUNE
06.06.2011 Gerry Weber Open
Halle, Germany Grass

06.06.2011 AEGON Championships
London, Great Britain Grass

12.06.2011 UNICEF Open
's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Grass

12.06.2011 AEGON International
Eastbourne, Great Britain Grass

20.06.2011 Wimbledon
Wimbledon, Great Britain Grass

JULY
04.07.2011 Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships
Newport, U.S.A. Grass

If there were more, Fed might win more.

BrooklynNY
01-06-2011, 04:21 PM
Ok, I gotta jump in. I don’t mind giving credit to Laver for all of his win on grass, but keep in mind many of his tournaments are played on grass in those day, but today, there’s only 2 grass tournaments. Federer no question is an excellent grass players and I’m sure he would rack up many grass titles given opportunity. In fact, if this era had tournaments mostly played on grass instead of hc, one can argue Fed would have even more dominating career.

So, I’m not against you picking Laver over Fed on grass, but just let you know he had more opportunity to shined than Fed. Just like someone argue Rosewall would have won Wimbledon if he had a chance to played in the 60s.

Or....If there were more grass courts, perhaps we would have more grass court specialists, and less domination over all surfaces. If grass was a more common surface you cannot say that someone out there might practice enough to be a better grass courter than Federer. Perhaps this player may have beaten Federer in all the Wimby Finals.

Or maybe Federer just would have won more, but maybe he would lose more.

Manus Domini
01-07-2011, 11:45 AM
Pancho, then Laver