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Rhino
06-07-2006, 04:32 PM
Laver grew up in the era of grass court tennis, when three of the four majors were on that low-bouncing surface. To me that is not what winning the Grand Slam is all about. For me a Grand Slam is about winning on the four different surfaces: AusOpen - Plexicushion Prestige, French - clay, Wimby - grass, and US Open - hardcourt.

I'm honestly not trying to knock Laver, but for me Federer's achievement on Sunday was a cut above the Laver Slam.

Moose Malloy
06-07-2006, 04:50 PM
One thing though: Laver grew up in the era of grass court tennis, when three of the four majors were on that low-bouncing surface. To me that is not what winning the Grand Slam is all about. For me a Grand Slam is about winning on the four different surfaces: AusOpen - synthetic rebound ace, French - clay, Wimby - grass, and US Open - hardcourt.

I'm honestly not trying to knock Laver, so chill out all you sensitive types, but for me Federer's potential achievement come Sunday is a cut above the Laver Slam. I mean imagine if 3 out of 4 slams were played on grass today!


US Open only became hardcourt in '78. Aus Open only became hardcourt in '88. So we are only talking about a 20-30 year period where players even had the chance to win slams on 3 different surfaces. The game was played many years before that, not sure why we should revise our standards of greatness because USTA wanted to help Americans(which was the main reason they changed to hardcourt in '78)

Also Laver won a ton of titles on all surfaces-hard, clay, carpet. Not just grass. In fact very few grass events outside of the slams were around during laver's time. There were absolutely no grasscourt warmups before US Open or Australian Open in his time. So he prepared for playing grasscourt majors by playing the clay or hardcourt events that lead up to them. Can you imagine if that was the case today? 3 majors on grass, but chance to play on grass before 2 of them. Not sure Federer would like that(since he plays halle every year as preparation for W)

Also the grasscourts of laver's time were atrocious, especially at US Open & Australia. Players complained about the US Open grasscourts for many years before the tournament finally gave in & changed it.
The grass that players play on today is in no way similar to Laver's time. Bad bounces, no bounces, bad griundskeepers(court at '69 US Open looked like chunks of grass were ripped out of it by a groundhog)

Once again Laver won a ton of titles on hardcourt, so if the US Open had been on hardcourt in '69, I don't think the result would've been any different.

And Laver did it in a calendar year, a lot more pressure on him at the us open that Fed has at the french this week.

Rhino
06-07-2006, 05:41 PM
OK thanks Moose for some interesting points.

Imagine though if the first 3 slams were on clay and then the US was still hardcourt. I wonder how many calendar slammers we'd have then? Lendl, Agassi, Courier, Wilander, Vilas perhaps...? Nadal would probably manage it eventually too!

I also thought this was interesting: In 1974 Jimmy Connors won the Australian, Wimbledon and US Open titles, but was not allowed to play the French Open due to World Team Tennis. Had he played it, he could have the Grand Slam in a calendar year too.

sureshs
06-07-2006, 05:41 PM
One thing though: Laver grew up in the era of grass court tennis, when three of the four majors were on that low-bouncing surface. To me that is not what winning the Grand Slam is all about. For me a Grand Slam is about winning on the four different surfaces: AusOpen - synthetic rebound ace, French - clay, Wimby - grass, and US Open - hardcourt.

I'm honestly not trying to knock Laver, so chill out all you sensitive types, but for me Federer's potential achievement come Sunday is a cut above the Laver Slam. I mean imagine if 3 out of 4 slams were played on grass today!

Thoughts?

Agassi already been there, done that.

Rhino
06-08-2009, 03:10 AM
There's been a lot of talk about Rod Laver and his Grand Slam recently, so I delved into my DVD collection (From "Wimbledon: A History Of The Championships" and "Australian Open: 100 Years In The Making") and my match downloads to find some footage of the great man.. The guy was fast around the court and has a great serve. Obviously his game lacked the power of todays tennis (his high smash at the net is thoroughly returnable), he was a true shot making virtuoso...

...But he was no Roger Roger Federer.

adidas_wilson
06-08-2009, 03:16 AM
There's been a lot of talk about Rod Laver and his Grand Slam recently, so I delved into my DVD collection (From "Wimbledon: A History Of The Championships" and "Australian Open: 100 Years In The Making") and my match downloads to find some footage of the great man.. The guy was fast around the court and has a great serve. Obviously his game lacked the power of todays tennis (his high smash at the net is thoroughly returnable), he was a true shot making virtuoso...

...But he was no Roger Roger Federer.

He was Australian and not English..

Nice try, but lets face it. You guys suck at sport and you hate that Australians have been great at almost everything;)

tom_asdelonge182
06-08-2009, 03:21 AM
He was Australian and not English..

Nice try, but lets face it. You guys suck at sport and you hate that Australians have been great at almost everything;)

they did have a higher medal count than us in the Olympics and beat us again in the rugby world cup

Rhino
06-08-2009, 03:33 AM
He was Australian and not English..

Nice try, but lets face it. You guys suck at sport and you hate that Australians have been great at almost everything;)

What are you talking about? I'm from New Zealand anyway. Not that that makes me (officially) a friend of the Aussies, but I have lived in Sydney, and I'm often at the Aus Open.

adidas_wilson
06-08-2009, 03:41 AM
they did have a higher medal count than us in the Olympics and beat us again in the rugby world cup

As for the Olympics, then about time, they have like 5 times our population.

And or that Rugby thing in 2003, it was only 1 point...

Dean
06-08-2009, 03:43 AM
Laver grew up in the era of grass court tennis, when three of the four majors were on that low-bouncing surface. To me that is not what winning the Grand Slam is all about. For me a Grand Slam is about winning on the four different surfaces: AusOpen - Plexicushion Prestige, French - clay, Wimby - grass, and US Open - hardcourt.

I'm honestly not trying to knock Laver, but for me Federer's achievement on Sunday was a cut above the Laver Slam.

To imply that Laver only won on grass is laughable. He won on everything and beat everyone on every surface indoors and out over a 20 year career.

He was good enough to whip Borg in straight sets on clay in the finals of Houston in April 1974 when he was over the hill. Borg would go on the win the the French and Italian Opens soon after.

rolandg
06-08-2009, 04:30 AM
There's been a lot of talk about Rod Laver and his Grand Slam recently, so I delved into my DVD collection (From "Wimbledon: A History Of The Championships" and "Australian Open: 100 Years In The Making") and my match downloads to find some footage of the great man.. The guy was fast around the court and has a great serve. Obviously his game lacked the power of todays tennis (his high smash at the net is thoroughly returnable), he was a true shot making virtuoso...

...But he was no Roger Roger Federer.

I look at old Laver matches and I have a different opinion. I think pretty much everything he does is better than Federer, and he does it with a tiny wooden racket, which is even more impressive. I also agree with what Moose said earlier in this thread. 3 of the 4 slams may have been on grass, but the surfaces were a lot harder to play on, and there was a greater variety of surfaces in the non-slams tournaments, which Laver also won on.

Laver also faced a wider variety of players, whereas today Federer is facing the same style of play over and over again. Really, if you can beat one player you can pretty much beat them all.

There's also the Nadal question.

I don't think there is a GOAT though really. If there is, I think it is Laver though.

Rhino
06-08-2009, 04:34 AM
I look at old Laver matches and I have a different opinion. I think pretty much everything he does is better than Federer, and he does it with a tiny wooden racket, which is even more impressive. I also agree with what Moose said earlier in this thread. 3 of the 4 slams may have been on grass, but the surfaces were a lot harder to play on, and there was a greater varety of surfaces in the non-slams tournaments, which Laver also won on.

Laver also faced a wider variety of players, whereas today Federer is facing the same style of play over and over again. Really, if you can beat one player you can pretty much beat them all.

There's also the Nadal question.

I don't think there is a GOAT though really. If there is, I think it is Laver though.

Sure, i'm just saying. How different would the slam tally be for Federer today if three of them were on grass during his 3 or 4 year unbeatable stretch on grass?

The Nadal question is irrelevant because he wasn't able to make it to enough slam finals so far.

And anyway, regarding Laver, There is also the Gonzales question.

rolandg
06-08-2009, 04:43 AM
Sure, i'm just saying. How different would the slam tally be for Federer today if three of them were on grass during his 3 or 4 year unbeatable stretch on grass?

The Nadal question is irrelevant because he wasn't able to make it to enough slam finals so far.

And anyway, regarding Laver, There is also the Gonzales question.

But how many US Opens would Fed have if it was still played on clay, as it was for parts of the 70's? There are so many what if's.

Nadal is relevant to Federer's legacy, because if you are the GOAt, or even the greatest of your era, there shouldn't be a player that is batter than you, and has such a commanding head to head in the big matches.

Rhino
06-08-2009, 04:59 AM
Nadal is relevant to Federer's legacy, because if you are the GOAt, or even the greatest of your era, there shouldn't be a player that is batter than you, and has such a commanding head to head in the big matches.

Please please tell me what part of this is SO hard to understand:

The head-2-head is mostly on clay because Federer was good enough to make all the clay finals while Nadal was nowhere to be seen during a miilion of Federers earlier hard and grass court finals.
Federers decline started from around the 2008 Australian Open, and as rosenstar said, Federer is slowly passing his peak, while Nadal is simultaneously approaching his. The match up favor's Nadal more and more every day, hence recent loses like the Australian Open final.

And also when Federer had Mono nucleus and a bad back, he mostly kept playing and suffered defeats that a healthy Federer wouldn't have. Nadal gets bad knees and he pulls out of slams (like the 2006 Aus Open, and possibly Wimbledon 2009?).

IS THAT SO COMPLICATED? I mean is Safin greater than Sampras because he has a winning head to head and straight setted him in the 2000 US Open final?

The head-2-head does not represent how awesome Federer obviously was during all those early slam finals, because they were PEAKING AT DIFFERENT TIMES.

rolandg
06-08-2009, 05:39 AM
Please please tell me what part of this is SO hard to understand:

The head-2-head is mostly on clay because Federer was good enough to make all the clay finals while Nadal was nowhere to be seen during a miilion of Federers earlier hard and grass court finals.
Federers decline started from around the 2008 Australian Open, and as rosenstar said, Federer is slowly passing his peak, while Nadal is simultaneously approaching his. The match up favor's Nadal more and more every day, hence recent loses like the Australian Open final.

And also when Federer had Mono nucleus and a bad back, he mostly kept playing and suffered defeats that a healthy Federer wouldn't have. Nadal gets bad knees and he pulls out of slams (like the 2006 Aus Open, and possibly Wimbledon 2009?).

IS THAT SO COMPLICATED? I mean is Safin greater than Sampras because he has a winning head to head and straight setted him in the 2000 US Open final?

The head-2-head does not represent how awesome Federer obviously was during all those early slam finals, because they were PEAKING AT DIFFERENT TIMES.

Doesn't matter. All people will see is 5-2 in slam finals.

Gorecki
06-08-2009, 06:04 AM
Rhino.. im no Historian but i have this idea that Laver won all the big Hard court and Carpet events that were around by then. plus, you have to take into acount that it was not just about the 4 big ones as of today. there were many events as big (or very close) as Slams and most of them were Carpet and Hard, plus Har-tru ...

so you get the point... Fed is not doubts the most acomplished player of this era, but LAver...

ps: see his Wikipedia article (not the most reliable source i know :() and count his titles on every variable there is and you get the picture!

urban
06-08-2009, 07:39 AM
I don't like Agassis god-like reference, but indeed the Grand Slam is the ultimate tennis achievement. The surface argument, that Laver could win only on grass, isn't valid. Laver won all four big pro events in 1967 on grass and indoor hardcourts, too. In 1962 he won 9 clay events among 22 titles, in 1969 the bunch of his 18 titles were won on hardcourt and indoor carpet. To the contrary, Laver would possibly have participated and won more majors, if majors were played on hard courts then. Laver was not particularly a big server, he had a hard first serve down the line, but relied more on spin and pace change. He liked true footing for his fast return game and offensive-minded net game. The bad footing on grass at Forest Hills and partly on Australian soil was poison for his swift style of play. As Lendl said, the 5 years interruption in prime years is a factor to be considered, if one refers to numbers of majors won. Gonzales and Rosewall in particular were even more victims of the pro system then. If you take away the last 5 years from Federer's resume, what would be left.
If all pro would be eligible all the time, Laver would maybe not have won a Grand Slam in 1962, but that he would won no major before 1964, is imo very unlikely. He would adapted much earlier to the style of Rosewall and Hoad, if he had played them earlier. Since 1964 he was the king of the hill on the pro scene. It is to be said also, that in the early 70s, promotional struggles prevented contract pro players like Laver, to play at major events, too. So the real open era doesn't begin in 1968, but more in 1974.
Laver is of course right, that all cross eras comparisons are at last futile. Federer's achievement is certainly great in the context of his time. If he had won RG in 2006 or 2007 over his Roadblock Nadal and had gone on to win the real Grand Slam, it would be substantially greater. His RG win puts him possibly over Sampras, because here we have two quite contemporary players. On the other hand, Pete doesn't need to hide himself behind Roger, because his best record - the 6 year Nr. 1 status at years end - will never be broken by Federer. That he had a bit luck in 1995 and 1998, is given, as is Roger's fortune, that in a sudden twist of fate, all his black horses were removed from his path at RG. But credit to both, that they took their opportunities.

lawrence
06-08-2009, 07:56 AM
just a hypothetical question

if laver was able to play those 5 years he missed, and managed say, another 2 calendar slams

would people ignore the fact that they were majorly on grass, because of the sheer fact that 4 calendar slams would make someones head implode

Rhino
06-08-2009, 08:03 AM
Doesn't matter. All people will see is 5-2 in slam finals.

I think they will see 14 (or more) Grand Slam titles and a career Grand Slam.

Nobody really cares that Krajicek has a winning record over Sampras.

tudwell
06-08-2009, 08:04 AM
Federer won all five of his U.S. Open titles on hardcourt. Jimmy Connors won five U.S. Open titles on grass, clay, and hardcourt. Therefore, Federer's achievement is not a "true" five-U.S.-Opens.

I think I'm getting the hang of this logic stuff.

rolandg
06-08-2009, 08:15 AM
I think they will see 14 (or more) Grand Slam titles and a career Grand Slam.

Nobody really cares that Krajicek has a winning record over Sampras.

Fed and nadal are contempories, with just a 4/5 year age difference. They have been in 7 slam finals, and Nadal has won 5 of them. How can you be the GOAT if there is someone in your era better than you? Even Federer seems to be admitting that he wouldn't beat Nadal if they had met in the French final.

"French Open champion Roger Federer said he was always confident of eventually winning at Roland Garros - provided Rafael Nadal failed to reach the final.

Federer, who lost the last three finals to Nadal, completed the career Grand Slam on his 11th appearance in Paris with victory over Robin Soderling.

"I knew that the day Rafa wasn't in the final I would be there and I would win," said world number two Federer.

"That's exactly what happened. I didn't hope for it but I believed in it." "

Unlike you, i'm not an obsessive fan of any player, or seemingly living vicariously though somebody elses achievements. I'm just a tennis fan who can see Federer is undoubtedly great, but not the so called 'GOAT'.

Nalbandian great
06-08-2009, 08:30 AM
Fed and nadal are contempories, with just a 4/5 year age difference. They have been in 7 slam finals, and Nadal has won 5 of them. How can you be the GOAT if there is someone in your era better than you? Even Federer seems to be admitting that he wouldn't beat Nadal if they had met in the French final.

"French Open champion Roger Federer said he was always confident of eventually winning at Roland Garros - provided Rafael Nadal failed to reach the final.

Federer, who lost the last three finals to Nadal, completed the career Grand Slam on his 11th appearance in Paris with victory over Robin Soderling.

"I knew that the day Rafa wasn't in the final I would be there and I would win," said world number two Federer.

"That's exactly what happened. I didn't hope for it but I believed in it." "

Unlike you, i'm not an obsessive fan of any player, or seemingly living vicariously though somebody elses achievements. I'm just a tennis fan who can see Federer is undoubtedly great, but not the so called 'GOAT'.

Agree, yes fully agree

Rhino
06-08-2009, 08:42 AM
Unlike you, i'm not an obsessive fan of any player, or seemingly living vicariously though somebody elses achievements. I'm just a tennis fan who can see Federer is undoubtedly great, but not the so called 'GOAT'.

That is rather below the belt. I too am just a tennis fan. I go all over the world often, to watch tournaments, because I enjoy living - off of my own achievements. Tomorrow I'll spend the day at Queens, and I'll love every minute of it despite Federers absence. My opinion is that Federer is the best I've ever seen. In the words of Andy Roddick about yesterdays match, "Props to Fed. That pretty much ends the GOAT debate". How does that make me live "through his achievements"? A lot of people I know also agree he is the GOAT. We are just normal people. I think Ayrton Senna is the greatest Formula 1 driver. Am I living through him as well?

Dude I just really enjoyed Federers win and it has briefly made me excited enough to join in on the great goat debate. If you think that is weird then what are you doing debating it too?

AAAA
06-08-2009, 08:42 AM
just a hypothetical question

if laver was able to play those 5 years he missed, and managed say, another 2 calendar slams

would people ignore the fact that they were majorly on grass, because of the sheer fact that 4 calendar slams would make someones head implode

Laver won slams either side of the banned period. In actuality Laver has something like 11 or more slams.

If he was that good against his peers then hypothetically conceivably he may have won at least two majors per year in the banned period, perhaps even 2 more calender slams for atleast say 25 slams total (11 or more real + what he could have won during his best years). However the 'weak'* competition argument could then be used because 25 is way more than Borg, Sampras and Federer.

* Weak - weak as in the competition weren't good enough to beat him and not that they weren't major winners themselves.

rwn
06-08-2009, 08:54 AM
Whatīs almost never mentioned is that the draw of the AO 1969 didnīt even have 128 players. There were so few players available that Laver only had to win 5 matches. Letīs face it: this slam means as much as each of the 13 Australian Opens Margaret Court won. Is she considered the GOAT ?

Rabbit
06-08-2009, 08:58 AM
I look at old Laver matches and I have a different opinion. I think pretty much everything he does is better than Federer, and he does it with a tiny wooden racket, which is even more impressive. I also agree with what Moose said earlier in this thread. 3 of the 4 slams may have been on grass, but the surfaces were a lot harder to play on, and there was a greater variety of surfaces in the non-slams tournaments, which Laver also won on.

Laver also faced a wider variety of players, whereas today Federer is facing the same style of play over and over again. Really, if you can beat one player you can pretty much beat them all.

There's also the Nadal question.

I don't think there is a GOAT though really. If there is, I think it is Laver though.

Very well reasoned and articulated. I agree.

Arguments about Agassi's "Career" Slam face the same delimma. Even his coach/friend/mentor Brad Gilbert says that Sampras was a better player because he so dominated the H2H.

rwn
06-08-2009, 08:59 AM
Laver won slams either side of the banned period. In actuality Laver has something like 11 or more slams.

If he was that good against his peers then hypothetically conceivably he may have won at least two majors per year in the banned period, perhaps even 2 more calender slams for atleast say 25 slams total (11 or more real + what he could have won during his best years). However the 'weak'* competition argument could then be used because 25 is way more than Borg, Sampras and Federer.

* Weak - weak as in the competition weren't good enough to beat him and not that they weren't major winners themselves.

Wrong. The majors Laver won from 1960-1962 were won because the best players were playing the pro tour. They don't count like Emerson's slams don't count. Laver only became the best professional player in 1964. That gives him only 6 years to dominate. It's very unlikely he would win much more than 14 slams in that period.

Rhino
06-08-2009, 09:09 AM
Whatīs almost never mentioned is that the draw of the AO 1969 didnīt even have 128 players. There were so few players available that Laver only had to win 5 matches. Letīs face it: this slam means as much as each of the 13 Australian Opens Margaret Court won. Is she considered the GOAT ?
"So few players available", that is funny. How amazingly competitive it must have been back then. They were probably bringing people off the street outside saying "Listen mate we have this tennis tournament but we're a little short on players, fancy being in the draw?".

These days there is a whole tournament just to qualify, and a pre-qualifying draw as well!

AAAA
06-08-2009, 09:09 AM
Wrong. The majors Laver won from 1960-1962 were won because the best players were playing the pro tour. They don't count like Emerson's slams don't count. Laver only became the best professional player in 1964. That gives him only 6 years to dominate. It's very unlikely he would win much more than 14 slams in that period.

Not me but Laver fans are saying he could have won more slams had he not been banned so I threw in how a 'weak' competition argument would have had greater credence. We'll never know. Whether Laver is the GOAT doesn't interest me a great deal, the only thing that did was Federer surpassing Sampras, yesterday he did imo and he's not done yet.

World Beater
06-08-2009, 11:18 AM
did they have qualifiers, futures, challengers, satellites back in lavers times?

they couldnt even fill a 128 player main draw...

CyBorg
06-08-2009, 11:20 AM
did they have qualifiers, futures, challengers, satellites back in lavers times?

they couldnt even fill a 128 player main draw...

What are you talking about? They even filled a 148-man draw in 1972.

Do you just make things up as you go?

DoubleDeuce
06-08-2009, 11:29 AM
US Open only became hardcourt in '78. Aus Open only became hardcourt in '88. So we are only talking about a 20-30 year period where players even had the chance to win slams on 3 different surfaces. The game was played many years before that, not sure why we should revise our standards of greatness because USTA wanted to help Americans(which was the main reason they changed to hardcourt in '78)

Also Laver won a ton of titles on all surfaces-hard, clay, carpet. Not just grass. In fact very few grass events outside of the slams were around during laver's time. There were absolutely no grasscourt warmups before US Open or Australian Open in his time. So he prepared for playing grasscourt majors by playing the clay or hardcourt events that lead up to them. Can you imagine if that was the case today? 3 majors on grass, but chance to play on grass before 2 of them. Not sure Federer would like that(since he plays halle every year as preparation for W)

Also the grasscourts of laver's time were atrocious, especially at US Open & Australia. Players complained about the US Open grasscourts for many years before the tournament finally gave in & changed it.
The grass that players play on today is in no way similar to Laver's time. Bad bounces, no bounces, bad griundskeepers(court at '69 US Open looked like chunks of grass were ripped out of it by a groundhog)

Once again Laver won a ton of titles on hardcourt, so if the US Open had been on hardcourt in '69, I don't think the result would've been any different.

And Laver did it in a calendar year, a lot more pressure on him at the us open that Fed has at the french this week.

Didnt have the chance doesnt change the fact, does it?

ClarkC
06-08-2009, 04:14 PM
just a hypothetical question

if laver was able to play those 5 years he missed, and managed say, another 2 calendar slams

would people ignore the fact that they were majorly on grass, because of the sheer fact that 4 calendar slams would make someones head implode

Some people would ignore the fact that they were almost all on grass. However, some people would carp on that point forever. If there is one thing to be learned from sports message boards, it is the fact that some people really hate to see a lot of praise go to any one person. Name any sports hero in any sport (Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Rod Laver, et al.) and somewhere there will be someone to tell you why that guy was not as great as everyone says he is.

Dean
06-09-2009, 05:56 AM
Whatīs almost never mentioned is that the draw of the AO 1969 didnīt even have 128 players. There were so few players available that Laver only had to win 5 matches. Letīs face it: this slam means as much as each of the 13 Australian Opens Margaret Court won. Is she considered the GOAT ?

Court won in Australia 11 times but hey lets not let the real figures get in the way of a good argument.

Besides she's oft over looked as she isn't an American.

24 singles slams(record), 62 overall(record), the 1970 grand slam... is hard to ignore.

rwn
06-09-2009, 07:46 AM
Court won in Australia 11 times but hey lets not let the real figures get in the way of a good argument.

Besides she's oft over looked as she isn't an American.

24 singles slams(record), 62 overall(record), the 1970 grand slam... is hard to ignore.

Oops, little mistake. But it doesn't change my argument because Steffi Graf is usually seen as the GOAT. The 11 AO titles of Court are usually dismissed.