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View Full Version : Brilliant analysis by Espn (irony alert!)


SgtJohn
06-09-2009, 09:17 AM
Debate's over, guys! Please find enclosed the GOAT list.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=tennis/090608

I had a good laugh reading this... Seriously, are these guys really paid to write this kind of crap?

J

urban
06-09-2009, 09:45 AM
Yes, i also saw that. If you somehow put on some numbers you can get, what you will. On the other hand, Connors is an alltime great, like him or not. His consistency is remarkable. I always found, that his 80,5 % winning percentage over his whole long career is fantastic, regarding that this includes some 1200 matches.

Tendons 14 points of numbers for Federer on the same Espn side is not much better. Maybe Federer is the best and greatest and all that, but to pull his career foursome together with a doubles olympic gold, and call that a record, is somewhat crap. The real singles gold belongs to Nadal. If he wins USO, he will "tie" Agassi in that matter. But beware, that the olympics are only since 1984 on. If you will bring doubles results in, don't forget that some guys in the past excelled at singles and doubles and mixed.

hoodjem
06-09-2009, 01:25 PM
"He might be the best player ever; we won't disagree, but it is fair to say that modern tennis really began in 1968."

I think this is called premise-failure.

bluetrain4
06-09-2009, 01:32 PM
The article is completely tongue-in-cheek, meant to be pure entertainment. But, I suspect that within a couple of hourse we'll have a lot of frantic posters ranting about the results.

Advice: Don't take it seriously.

SgtJohn
06-09-2009, 02:54 PM
Yes Urban, I agree that Connors is among the greatest in the Open Era, though below Borg, Lendl, Sampras and Federer in my opinion (not much below).

It's the 'method' that had me laugh a little, as I don't think this guy is tongue-in-cheek but very serious: let's take some totally random stats, attribute a totally random amount of points to them, and apply them to a random set of player, chosen from an arbitrarily limited era of the history of tennis....and let's get kudos for that as well!

Anyway we're reading lots of nonsense these days. As an admirer of Federer, I'm very happy of his accomplishments and the way he reinforced his status in history on Sunday. Still the avalanche of 'historical' articles by clueless journalists makes me cringe a little: for instance the otherwise respectable Bonnie Ford calling the pre-Open era, 'prehistoric'...really?
The arrogance in it is unbelievable. I recently read a 1887 book about Lawn Tennis and the authors were speaking of the Gore-Hadow-Hartley era as prehistory, only old-timers could be interested in the champions of old! Bonnie Ford and co don't understand that in 40 years, Federer will be considered as an uninteresting old-timer, save by the people really interested in tennis history. But if you want to count yourself among these people you have to know (or at least be willing to know) about ANY era.

Anyway, that was my rant of the week, or rather of the year, as I don't do it often either.

Jon

CEvertFan
06-09-2009, 03:07 PM
Only Open era players and an emphasis on longevity and you get this guy's formula for making his list. It's an opinion. That's all I have to say...

grafrules
06-09-2009, 03:30 PM
Yes, i also saw that. If you somehow put on some numbers you can get, what you will. On the other hand, Connors is an alltime great, like him or not. His consistency is remarkable. I always found, that his 80,5 % winning percentage over his whole long career is fantastic, regarding that this includes some 1200 matches.

Tendons 14 points of numbers for Federer on the same Espn side is not much better. Maybe Federer is the best and greatest and all that, but to pull his career foursome together with a doubles olympic gold, and call that a record, is somewhat crap. The real singles gold belongs to Nadal. If he wins USO, he will "tie" Agassi in that matter. But beware, that the olympics are only since 1984 on. If you will bring doubles results in, don't forget that some guys in the past excelled at singles and doubles and mixed.

Some people wonder if Lendl is underrated all time but I often think Connors is. His consistency and longevity are both simply amazing. His 1974 is one of the most dominant years in the Open Era easily, and then to have a fairly dominant year at 30 in 1982 8 years later is amazing. Also if the Australian and French were valued like today, especialy the Australian, he would almost certainly be a double digit slam winner too.

Two of the focuses of Federer's career now should be the singles Olympic Gold in 2012 and to win a Davis Cup title. Both are significant for his career IMO, and now that he has the French, the slam record tied (likely surpassed soon) he has no excuse not to put more focus on Davis Cup. Wawrinka is a good player now, and a good doubles partner with Fed (Almagro is also a good doubles partner) so he has no excuse to not put more energy into Davis Cup now.

Benhur
06-10-2009, 08:13 AM
For an impromptu system to rank players in the Open Era, the method does not seem unreasonable, thought the results seem a bit surprising. But they seem surprising only because usual ranking considerations emphasize major trophies almost exclusively, to the detriment of most other factors that give hints to overall performance. And yes, Connors match winning percentage is absolutely incredible considering the nearly interminable length of his career, which should work heavily against that percentage, and yet there it is, nearly at 81%! That tells you something about his overall career performance. No wonder any system that gives some reasonable credit to overall performance, rankings, how far you go in majors and so on, will have his name much higher up than the usual laziness of mere major counting.

The numbers are not “random”. They are arbitrary. But then all numbers assigned to measure overall career performance, and all the factors chosen to be considered for the measurement, are always arbitrary, since no God-given numbers or factors exist, to my knowledge. The only question remains: how reasonable or unreasonable they seem. These seem to me, by and large, pretty reasonable, especially for something done as a fast spontaneous exercise.

pc1
06-10-2009, 09:07 AM
Yes Urban, I agree that Connors is among the greatest in the Open Era, though below Borg, Lendl, Sampras and Federer in my opinion (not much below).

It's the 'method' that had me laugh a little, as I don't think this guy is tongue-in-cheek but very serious: let's take some totally random stats, attribute a totally random amount of points to them, and apply them to a random set of player, chosen from an arbitrarily limited era of the history of tennis....and let's get kudos for that as well!

Anyway we're reading lots of nonsense these days. As an admirer of Federer, I'm very happy of his accomplishments and the way he reinforced his status in history on Sunday. Still the avalanche of 'historical' articles by clueless journalists makes me cringe a little: for instance the otherwise respectable Bonnie Ford calling the pre-Open era, 'prehistoric'...really?
The arrogance in it is unbelievable. I recently read a 1887 book about Lawn Tennis and the authors were speaking of the Gore-Hadow-Hartley era as prehistory, only old-timers could be interested in the champions of old! Bonnie Ford and co don't understand that in 40 years, Federer will be considered as an uninteresting old-timer, save by the people really interested in tennis history. But if you want to count yourself among these people you have to know (or at least be willing to know) about ANY era.

Anyway, that was my rant of the week, or rather of the year, as I don't do it often either.

Jon

I agree with you Jon. It is kind of funny. Not that it means much but Arthur Ashe in the early 1990's called Jimmy Connors the greatest player of the Open Era.

Connors was a great player that would be a problem for anyone in tennis history. One of my fantasy match ups in Connors in his prime against Federer in the U.S. Open final with the crowd all for Connors against Federer. I'd be curious how Federer would handle it.

Anyone can use stats to make a certain great player number one. I don't think Connors is the greatest but it would be easy, considering his great record to manipulate the facts to make it seem that he was invincible. The best writers and historians try to be a little more objective.

ClarkC
06-10-2009, 09:30 AM
Why don't the authors of such articles specify "greatest singles player" rather than greatest player?

If you want to win Davis Cup, doubles matters. I was a Lendl fan, somewhat a fan of Connors and Courier, but I have to admit they were not doubles players for the most part. Connors/Nastase had some success, more than Lendl or Courier did in doubles. John McEnroe, John Newcombe, and a few others don't get much credit for combining singles and doubles accomplishments.

If you mean singles, say singles.

CyBorg
06-10-2009, 09:55 AM
Yes Urban, I agree that Connors is among the greatest in the Open Era, though below Borg, Lendl, Sampras and Federer in my opinion (not much below).

It's the 'method' that had me laugh a little, as I don't think this guy is tongue-in-cheek but very serious: let's take some totally random stats, attribute a totally random amount of points to them, and apply them to a random set of player, chosen from an arbitrarily limited era of the history of tennis....and let's get kudos for that as well!

Anyway we're reading lots of nonsense these days. As an admirer of Federer, I'm very happy of his accomplishments and the way he reinforced his status in history on Sunday. Still the avalanche of 'historical' articles by clueless journalists makes me cringe a little: for instance the otherwise respectable Bonnie Ford calling the pre-Open era, 'prehistoric'...really?
The arrogance in it is unbelievable. I recently read a 1887 book about Lawn Tennis and the authors were speaking of the Gore-Hadow-Hartley era as prehistory, only old-timers could be interested in the champions of old! Bonnie Ford and co don't understand that in 40 years, Federer will be considered as an uninteresting old-timer, save by the people really interested in tennis history. But if you want to count yourself among these people you have to know (or at least be willing to know) about ANY era.

Anyway, that was my rant of the week, or rather of the year, as I don't do it often either.

Jon

The most arbitrary part was the 15 points allotted for the career grand slam, which resulted in Agassi winding up ahead of Borg on the list.

Ripping good laugh.

tonyg11
06-10-2009, 11:21 AM
http://img68.imageshack.us/img68/2787/repost4bq.jpg

jimbo333
06-10-2009, 01:08 PM
What happened to the other thread with the same subject, it had lots of interesting facts, and seems to have just disappeared, why????