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DoubleDeuce
06-07-2009, 06:45 PM
I enjoyed reading this,

Lendl has an interesting solution to GOAT issue:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/sports/tennis/08araton.html?em


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41257000/jpg/_41257920_laver_fed.jpg

myservenow
06-07-2009, 06:57 PM
The only problem I really have with this article is the direct dismissal of Pete Sampras in the GOAT discussion.

Back in the day there was no one that loathed Sampras more than I did. Believe me. I was an Agassi fan and could not stand Sampras. Only after Pete and Andre retired could I appreciate Sampras for the great champion that he was. I am sort of mad at myself for not appreciating Pete more during his tremendous run.

While Sampras never won the FO, he is clearly one of the greatest of all time. He at least is still in the discussion. If he was the GOAT yesterday before Federer's FO victory, then he is still one of, if not the, GOAT on the day of Federer's win. I would almost put them on the same level with room to adjust at the end of Federer's career.

fed_rulz
06-07-2009, 07:05 PM
The only problem I really have with this article is the direct dismissal of Pete Sampras in the GOAT discussion.

Back in the day there was no one that loathed Sampras more than I did. Believe me. I was an Agassi fan and could not stand Sampras. Only after Pete and Andre retired could I appreciate Sampras for the great champion that he was. I am sort of mad at myself for not appreciating Pete more during his tremendous run.

While Sampras never won the FO, he is clearly one of the greatest of all time. He at least is still in the discussion. If he was the GOAT yesterday before Federer's FO victory, then he is still one of, if not the, GOAT on the day of Federer's win. I would almost put them on the same level with room to adjust at the end of Federer's career.

He was a non-factor in 33% of the tennis season - so it makes sense to exclude him. I always believed he should not be part of the GOAT discussion; he is one of the top contenders for the fast-court GOAT (if one such exists)

valiant
06-07-2009, 07:05 PM
Nice article and yes I too agree that you just cannot dismiss Pete that easily. He is one of the best players that played the game. I don't like comparing players because I think it doesn't matter. what's more important is that we got to see these players and they made it so much special for us tennis fans.

prosealster
06-07-2009, 08:57 PM
i also think pete is still in the mix...he might have lost a few votes today...but he should still be in the discussions of GOAT

R_Federer
06-07-2009, 09:03 PM
1. Federer
2. Laver
3. Sampras
4. Bjorg

Simple.

dincuss
06-07-2009, 09:13 PM
1. Federer
2. Laver
3. Sampras
4. Bjorg

Simple.

Where's Safin on this list?:D

But I have to agree,
Unfortunately.

VictorS.
06-07-2009, 09:50 PM
I guess in the end, the titles speak for themselves. So in that respect, Federer is certainly headed to break the record books. However, I like the fact that Sampras finished his career winning a grand slam title. It's somewhat akin to Jordan hitting his last shot for the bulls. Who's to say Sampras wouldn't have won more GS titles if he were to continue?? He was of course on the downside of his career but still obviously extremely capable of winning titles.

Right now I gotta give Federer the edge, especially with this French victory. But if you look at how their games stacked up against each other, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where Sampras does not at least prove to be a worthy rival to Federer unless of course they played on clay.

Redflea
06-07-2009, 10:00 PM
Pete has dismissed Pete - he has said that he now feels Fed is the GOAT. Hard to ignore the man himself...

certifiedjatt
06-07-2009, 11:22 PM
this is the problem with editorials...it is more about the writer getting the perfect sentence, instead of being objective and just reporting. that piece wasn't an ode to federer; it was an ode to the writer himself. it's the same with commentators who go all out on lavishing players with impossible and often nonsensical descriptives ("immortal....", "mathematical genius", and of course, the proverbial, trite comparison of someone's footwork with ballet).

federer's achievements are unparalleled. however, the GOAT is a grand and inarguable title to bestow on someone. as such, its criteria should be designed comprehensively. if number of majors, and surface, are critical, then so should the head to head (which to me is a better indication of ''greatest of all time'') against main rivals.

as of now, federer is tied with sampras as being the most prolific tennis player in majors. so, as of now, they're both the MPOATs.

if sampras had a deficiency, it was french open. federer's deficiency is his solid losing record against his main rival--nadal.

federer has reached 20 straight semis. that should take care of the argument that he's playing in a weak era. if he is, then his consitency in handing out *** whoppings more than makes up for any weakness in the field. and this is coming from a sampras fan. however, he has to have a winning record (even if it is by one win) over nadal (or anyone else with whom he's played consistently).


in my opinion, the GOAT-TD* comes down to four things, and they must all be achieved by a player to be qualified as GOAT-TD.

1. #majors
2. winning every major at least once
3. a winning head to head against main rivals
4. achievement of #1 ranking

as of now, federer takes the cake on No. 2, and is tied with sampras for No.1. Sampras, however, has the record for No. 4 and No. 3.

so neither is GOAT.


*That is, Greatest of All Time, To Date.

Leublu tennis
06-08-2009, 03:23 AM
The only problem I really have with this article is the direct dismissal of Pete Sampras in the GOAT discussion.

Back in the day there was no one that loathed Sampras more than I did. Believe me. I was an Agassi fan and could not stand Sampras. Only after Pete and Andre retired could I appreciate Sampras for the great champion that he was. I am sort of mad at myself for not appreciating Pete more during his tremendous run.

While Sampras never won the FO, he is clearly one of the greatest of all time. He at least is still in the discussion. If he was the GOAT yesterday before Federer's FO victory, then he is still one of, if not the, GOAT on the day of Federer's win. I would almost put them on the same level with room to adjust at the end of Federer's career.Yes, the article dismisses Sampras as if he never existed, but the principle is still a good one. Two eras: pre-open and open. Makes very good sence. Then there would be very few arguments against Federer being GOAT or very near GOAT of the modern era. All Fed would need is another slam or two and he would be #1 without a doubt. Thats #1 of the open era.

fed_rulz
06-08-2009, 05:14 AM
this is the problem with editorials...it is more about the writer getting the perfect sentence, instead of being objective and just reporting. that piece wasn't an ode to federer; it was an ode to the writer himself. it's the same with commentators who go all out on lavishing players with impossible and often nonsensical descriptives ("immortal....", "mathematical genius", and of course, the proverbial, trite comparison of someone's footwork with ballet).

federer's achievements are unparalleled. however, the GOAT is a grand and inarguable title to bestow on someone. as such, its criteria should be designed comprehensively. if number of majors, and surface, are critical, then so should the head to head (which to me is a better indication of ''greatest of all time'') against main rivals.

as of now, federer is tied with sampras as being the most prolific tennis player in majors. so, as of now, they're both the MPOATs.

if sampras had a deficiency, it was french open. federer's deficiency is his solid losing record against his main rival--nadal.

federer has reached 20 straight semis. that should take care of the argument that he's playing in a weak era. if he is, then his consitency in handing out *** whoppings more than makes up for any weakness in the field. and this is coming from a sampras fan. however, he has to have a winning record (even if it is by one win) over nadal (or anyone else with whom he's played consistently).


in my opinion, the GOAT-TD* comes down to four things, and they must all be achieved by a player to be qualified as GOAT-TD.

1. #majors
2. winning every major at least once
3. a winning head to head against main rivals
4. achievement of #1 ranking

as of now, federer takes the cake on No. 2, and is tied with sampras for No.1. Sampras, however, has the record for No. 4 and No. 3.

so neither is GOAT.


*That is, Greatest of All Time, To Date.


Sorry, I tend to disagree about the h2h part. The h2h can be used as a tie-breaker between two players (e.g. nad vs fed) if it comes down to who is the GOAT between the two i.e. if nadal ends his career winning a career grand slam and equal # of slams as Fed, then Nad is definitely greater than Fed by virtue of his h2h.

If federer had lost to a different player (instead of nadal) in his 9 losses against nadal on clay, then does it make him worse or better? By your criteria, it would make him better, because he would not have a bad h2h record against his main rival... but the losses would have been spread across the entire field which IMO is worse. So perhaps, overall win-loss ratio needs to be considered?

IMO, Fed has achieved the most of anyone who has picked up a racquet; however, I do not buy the GOAT BS, because its hard to compare across eras, when many variables have changed.

Rasta
06-08-2009, 05:18 AM
Pete has dismissed Pete - he has said that he now feels Fed is the GOAT. Hard to ignore the man himself...

Pete is a class act. Can you imagine Serena saying this? I wouldn't dismiss Pete just because he's being humble.

Steve132
06-08-2009, 02:57 PM
Sorry, I tend to disagree about the h2h part. The h2h can be used as a tie-breaker between two players (e.g. nad vs fed) if it comes down to who is the GOAT between the two i.e. if nadal ends his career winning a career grand slam and equal # of slams as Fed, then Nad is definitely greater than Fed by virtue of his h2h.

If federer had lost to a different player (instead of nadal) in his 9 losses against nadal on clay, then does it make him worse or better? By your criteria, it would make him better, because he would not have a bad h2h record against his main rival... but the losses would have been spread across the entire field which IMO is worse. So perhaps, overall win-loss ratio needs to be considered?

IMO, Fed has achieved the most of anyone who has picked up a racquet; however, I do not buy the GOAT BS, because its hard to compare across eras, when many variables have changed.

Great post. I very much agree with your point about the (mis)use of head to head records in GOAT discussions. I've noticed that people only started using them as a standalone criterion when Federer began to approach Sampras' Slam total.

H2h records depend critically on matchups. Player A may beat player B who beats player C, but C might beat A. It all depends on how each player's game matches up to the others.' Moreover, H2h records actually penalize versatility. As has been pointed out before, Sampras would undoubtedly have a better h2h record against Nadal than Federer does, because he would not reach many clay court finals to play Nadal in the way that Federer does. More than half the Federer-Nadal matches have taken place on clay, because Federer usually reaches the finals of clay court tournaments. Nadal is much less likely to reach the finals of hard court events.

H2h records are also subject to cherry-picking. Why does Federer's losing record against Nadal count but Sampras' losing record against Krajicek does not? If only records against "main rivals" are to count, why is it better to lose to a second-rate player than it is to lose to a great one?

DoubleDeuce
06-08-2009, 05:51 PM
this is the problem with editorials...it is more about the writer getting the perfect sentence, instead of being objective and just reporting. that piece wasn't an ode to federer; it was an ode to the writer himself. it's the same with commentators who go all out on lavishing players with impossible and often nonsensical descriptives ("immortal....", "mathematical genius", and of course, the proverbial, trite comparison of someone's footwork with ballet).

federer's achievements are unparalleled. however, the GOAT is a grand and inarguable title to bestow on someone. as such, its criteria should be designed comprehensively. if number of majors, and surface, are critical, then so should the head to head (which to me is a better indication of ''greatest of all time'') against main rivals.

as of now, federer is tied with sampras as being the most prolific tennis player in majors. so, as of now, they're both the MPOATs.

if sampras had a deficiency, it was french open. federer's deficiency is his solid losing record against his main rival--nadal.

federer has reached 20 straight semis. that should take care of the argument that he's playing in a weak era. if he is, then his consitency in handing out *** whoppings more than makes up for any weakness in the field. and this is coming from a sampras fan. however, he has to have a winning record (even if it is by one win) over nadal (or anyone else with whom he's played consistently).


in my opinion, the GOAT-TD* comes down to four things, and they must all be achieved by a player to be qualified as GOAT-TD.

1. #majors
2. winning every major at least once
3. a winning head to head against main rivals
4. achievement of #1 ranking

as of now, federer takes the cake on No. 2, and is tied with sampras for No.1. Sampras, however, has the record for No. 4 and No. 3.

so neither is GOAT.


*That is, Greatest of All Time, To Date.

Over all good post,

But the H2H is misleading my friend.

Roger still has better H2H on Hard courts

Roger has better H2H on Grass

Nadal is considered the greatest of Clay courts and he has won more clay and you are telling me this one factor disqualify Roger as GOAT?

Tell me this, Had Nadal made more Hard court finals, do you think their H2H would be the same? For example 06-08 USO finals that Nadal didnt make?

akv89
06-08-2009, 06:12 PM
this is the problem with editorials...it is more about the writer getting the perfect sentence, instead of being objective and just reporting. that piece wasn't an ode to federer; it was an ode to the writer himself. it's the same with commentators who go all out on lavishing players with impossible and often nonsensical descriptives ("immortal....", "mathematical genius", and of course, the proverbial, trite comparison of someone's footwork with ballet).

federer's achievements are unparalleled. however, the GOAT is a grand and inarguable title to bestow on someone. as such, its criteria should be designed comprehensively. if number of majors, and surface, are critical, then so should the head to head (which to me is a better indication of ''greatest of all time'') against main rivals.

as of now, federer is tied with sampras as being the most prolific tennis player in majors. so, as of now, they're both the MPOATs.

if sampras had a deficiency, it was french open. federer's deficiency is his solid losing record against his main rival--nadal.

federer has reached 20 straight semis. that should take care of the argument that he's playing in a weak era. if he is, then his consitency in handing out *** whoppings more than makes up for any weakness in the field. and this is coming from a sampras fan. however, he has to have a winning record (even if it is by one win) over nadal (or anyone else with whom he's played consistently).


in my opinion, the GOAT-TD* comes down to four things, and they must all be achieved by a player to be qualified as GOAT-TD.

1. #majors
2. winning every major at least once
3. a winning head to head against main rivals
4. achievement of #1 ranking

as of now, federer takes the cake on No. 2, and is tied with sampras for No.1. Sampras, however, has the record for No. 4 and No. 3.

so neither is GOAT.


*That is, Greatest of All Time, To Date.

I agree that the sensationalizing of tennis pros makes it harder to make objective conclusions when comparing eras. However, the four qualities that you've suggested, although more quantitative, seem quite arbitrary as well. Why not look at total weeks at #1, or look at only the best years of the player, or total number of wins in a major tournament? If there is a need to be objective about things, there can't be such a thing as a set of accomplishments that define what is required of a GOAT since objectivity depends on being able to account for all variables and not 'all-or-nothing' conditions.

herosol
06-08-2009, 06:26 PM
this is the problem with editorials...it is more about the writer getting the perfect sentence, instead of being objective and just reporting. that piece wasn't an ode to federer; it was an ode to the writer himself. it's the same with commentators who go all out on lavishing players with impossible and often nonsensical descriptives ("immortal....", "mathematical genius", and of course, the proverbial, trite comparison of someone's footwork with ballet).

federer's achievements are unparalleled. however, the GOAT is a grand and inarguable title to bestow on someone. as such, its criteria should be designed comprehensively. if number of majors, and surface, are critical, then so should the head to head (which to me is a better indication of ''greatest of all time'') against main rivals.

as of now, federer is tied with sampras as being the most prolific tennis player in majors. so, as of now, they're both the MPOATs.

if sampras had a deficiency, it was french open. federer's deficiency is his solid losing record against his main rival--nadal.

federer has reached 20 straight semis. that should take care of the argument that he's playing in a weak era. if he is, then his consitency in handing out *** whoppings more than makes up for any weakness in the field. and this is coming from a sampras fan. however, he has to have a winning record (even if it is by one win) over nadal (or anyone else with whom he's played consistently).


in my opinion, the GOAT-TD* comes down to four things, and they must all be achieved by a player to be qualified as GOAT-TD.

1. #majors
2. winning every major at least once
3. a winning head to head against main rivals
4. achievement of #1 ranking

as of now, federer takes the cake on No. 2, and is tied with sampras for No.1. Sampras, however, has the record for No. 4 and No. 3.

so neither is GOAT.


*That is, Greatest of All Time, To Date.

unfortunately, the whole "main rival" is very different for Pete. The age differences are minimal between Pete and Agassi for example. But for Federer and Nadal? Almost 5-6 years. There are so many court-factors that enhance Nadal's game, but on top of that, his strokes although not better then Agassi, Rafa has the best mental game that is more effective then any pro groundstroke.

Unfortunately age being the factor, Nadal is just a better challenger to Federer in comparison to Agassi to Sampras.

If you were to compare Sampras to Nadal even on hardcourt matches with Nadal's skill right now, I am 100% Pete would not have an easy time, and could even lose, although I would say he would win most of the time.