11+ GS Titles Club Ultimate Doubles Match

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Pretty exclusive club, this. We'll leave Emmo out so that he can be the umpire. Sorry to Mac, Connors, Agassi, and everyone else. You can watch but you can't play. You gotta have at least 11 GS singles titles to qualify.

    Imagine a doubles match with everyone in their prime. (Please ignore that we will need a time machine to do this.) Give everyone 90 sq. in. graphite-wood hybrid racquets with Lux and VS gut, or if they insist something more modern.

    On one doubles team is Laver and Federer. They seem to like and respect each other, and both could be called all-court players. Fed takes the deuce court and Laver--the lefty--covers the add court.

    On the other team is Sampras and Borg. Both righties, but complementary abilities: Sampras as the great server and volleyer, and Borg as the fastest baseliner and most precise passer who ever swung a stick.

    Who're you pulling for?
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
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  2. DashaandSafin

    DashaandSafin Hall of Fame

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    Pretty exclusive club...might as well call it a (small) meeting. I mean, how many possibilities can you come up with....
     
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  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, very exclusive. Only GOATs can apply.
     
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  4. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    if you made it mixed doubles and threw court evert and navratilova in the there partnering some of the guys i think it would be more interesting...least to me anyway. based on those teams i pick borg and sampras only because fed has no real experience in doubles and I think it would be rough for him...just my opinion though
     
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  5. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Add Graf to the mix so there could be 4 mixed double teams in a round robin format. The 4 best ever men partnering the 4 best ever women.

    I'd go with:

    Federer-Navratilova
    Sampras-Evert
    Laver-Court
    Borg-Graf
     
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  6. kabob

    kabob Professional

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    Uh, do you play much doubles? If you combine a righty with a lefty, you'd set them up opposite from what you posted i.e. forehands in the middle. Look at the Bryan brothers for a great example.
     
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  7. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    After a tiebreak in the 3rd set i would have to go with sampras/borg because they have more of that invincible ora.
     
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  8. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Perhaps not GOAT's, but the ones whose careers either didn't start until after Open tennis began or who had enough time to win in the Open and amateur eras.

    How about making it 10 and then you could include Bill Tilden?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
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  9. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I love Rosewall (best BH slice ever), no disrepect intended. But you have to win 11 singles titles to play.

    (Admittedly, I made up an excuse to leave Emmo out, because five did not work, and these were the four most popular players. No disrepect intended, he did win win 12, irrespective of the era.)

    Mixed doubles would make it more fun. Of course the earlier players might have an advantage in doubles, because they actually played it a lot and thus knew how to play doubles. (But I didn't want to make this an exercise on the best doubles players.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
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  10. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    I like those teams..dunno why I didn't add graf myself...mental lapse...of those 4 teams I'd pick laver and court, they would complement each other best I think
     
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  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Andrew,
    I don't think there is a "sensible/intelligent thing," because people on this site like to endlessly debate the validity or "worth" of Emmo's titles. Because he played near the end of the amateur/pro divide, many here discount his 12 GS singles titles, as he didn't play against people like Laver or Rosewall. One can of worms.

    "Of course if Rosewall had been allowed to play, think how many he would have won, easily 11" . . . another can of worms. (I have no insects wandering inside my rectum.)

    Let's avoid the contention and have fun with this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
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  12. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    I picked those teams because Navratilova's doubles prowess would offset Federer's lack of doubles play and I think their styles would compliment one another, Sampras' powerful serve would offset Evert's which is the weakest serve of the four women and her excellent return of serve/passing shots/lobs would serve their team well, Laver and Court would compliment one another the best out of all the teams and Borg and Graf are the two quickest players ever in the game and I think they would do well together.
     
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  13. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    But if it's just the guys playing then I'd have to go with Laver/Federer.
     
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  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yea, I'd pick Laver-Federer too. Love the court coverage and range of shot-making possible. Though Borg was pretty decent at the net, as in his Wimbledon matches where he came in a lot. And Sampras did have very good groundstrokes. I just think Rocket-Fed could do more, anytime, everywhere. (Particularly Laver, who I believe had the most complete game of all time.)

    Mixed doubles would be amazing. I'd pick any team with Navratilova; she was amazing at the net. One of the great S&V players of all time--men or women. (IMHO)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
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  15. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I have no idea what Borg or Laver's doubles career looked like, but I think the stars of that match would be Laver and Sampras. Sampras' serve would keep him and Borg in it, but I'd go for Laver/Federer.
     
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  16. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    SM, Why do you say this?
     
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  17. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    You're right, my apologies and I'll wipe my other post. I do get a bit touchy about Emmo (as with some of the other older Aussie players) as there are a few on this board who seem to go out of their way to denigrate his career.

    My personal opinion is; Rosewall majors = 22 + 1 Grand Slam if his career hadn't been interrupted. Always have contended that 14 was only the Open record and needs a very large asterisk next to it.

    As to your topic: If Borg and Sampras played Laver-Federer 100 times in doubles I'd expect the latter to win 75-85% of them. None of them were great doubles players. Laver, like Federer now, didn't respect the percentages enough and won on sheer talent (according to his peers). Sampras had the big serve and solid volleys but was easily exploited by a top doubles pair (as the Woodies showed) on his return of serve (couldn't pull the return cross-court in the forehand court, only go down the line). Borg's volleys were bloody awful but his returns were excellent and he had a very big serve but, he didn't like to play doubles and rarely tried.

    To be very honest, I think you'd get a much better match if you put Graf-Court up against Navratilova-Evert. Then you've at least got two players who rank with the very best doubles players of all time.
     
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  18. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    In that case I'd pick Navratilova/Evert, as they actually played doubles together in the 70s and wound up winning two Slam titles (the 1975 French Open and 1976 Wimbledon doubles championships). The only reason they stopped playing doubles together was because their singles rivalry was beginning to heat up and they both didn't want to give the other too many insights into their games.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
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  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I too believe that Emmo is under-respected. Many here denigrate the AO itself of the 70-80s.

    I have an inkling of what you might mean, but I think you should elucidate this. Please elaborate on the asterisk.

    Absolutely true, but I would be interested to see the pure talent itself.

    I agree mostly. I would never say Borg's volleys were "bloody awful." I actually think, in some Wimby matches, they are surprisingly deft. But you are correct to say that his returns were some of the best in all of tennis. His serve was indeed quite big--after he changed his left foot position.

    Do you mean Court and Navratilova?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
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  20. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    OK, I'll take Emmo and let him pick someone else from the spectators - he picks McEnroe and beats whomever wins the first match easily (which I think would be Laver-Federer).
     
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  21. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    The 'record' of 14 majors only exists because players such as Laver, Rosewall and Budge were banned from entering (and winning) those tournaments when they turned professional. Laver was banned for 6 years but still won 11 majors, Rosewall was banned for 12 years but still won 8 majors. Budge was banned for life. Neither Laver nor Rosewall were allowed to compete during their prime, most productive years. If they hadn't been banned they would have continued to win majors and, going on their strike rate as amateurs and professionals, it would be little stretch to see Laver and Budge winning, at least, another 5+ majors and Rosewall another 12+. That being the case, 14 wins would have been a great career but nowhere near the greatest.

    Factoring in the ban on professionals also allows us to see those players who competed solely during the Open era in relation to the other most accomplished players of all time. If we did that we'd be able to see how only Borg, Sampras and Federer truly belong on the same level as Rosewall, Laver, Tilden and Budge. Tilden would also have won probably another 3-5 more events if, during his prime, the French had been open to players of all nationalities.

    Our standards have actually been lowered because people don't factor in the ban on professionals.

    Borg's volleys were bloody effective (shots not cleanly hit have a habit of dying on grass) but they were still bloody awful in comparison to any decent volleyer.



    Absolutely. They're two of the greatest doubles players in the game's history - male or female.
     
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  22. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    The way I see it, banning those guys from tournaments just serves as an equalizer, because there is no way in hell anyone could possibly win 20+ Slams in today's field. The new guys just keep coming and coming, and the field is constantly changing. Federer stretched dominance to its limits, and left all of the old legends shaking their heads, wondering how he could be consistently beating such world class players.
     
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  23. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    That's rubbish. Pete Sampras won 14 major titles up to the age of 32 without ever coming remotely close to winning at the French. Roger Federer has won 12 majors without being able to snag the French and Bjorn Borg won 11 majors without winning either the US or Australian Opens. If any of them had been able to win on all surfaces and at all majors then you could quite easily add another 3-4 onto their total. However, Sampras wasn't good enough on clay, Federer hasn't proven his is either and Borg couldn't win at the US Open and didn't try at the Australian (retiring at 26 cut into his tally as well). 20 majors is attainable but it requires greater longevity than Sampras or Borg displayed and an ability to win at all of the majors - something none of those greats were able to do during their uninterrupted careers.

    The very simple truth is that, while the rank and file players of today are far better equipped technically than their counterparts from 10, 20, 30 or more years ago, they aren't better players. Djokovic hasn't been on the scene long enough to comment on but, apart from Nadal, what genuinely great opposition has Federer faced? The answer is none, at least not on a consistent basis. Safin could have been the one but he's not interested and Nadal hasn't been able to win a major on anything but clay.

    Unless you're swimming in the ATP cool-aid you'll be able to see, very clearly, that when it comes to the very elite players, the cupboard is woefully bare and has been since the early 90's.
     
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  24. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    doubles

    laver was a great doubles player. he always played doubles as did all the other great players before connors and borg.

    Laver won about 120 tournaments; the record is held by hewitt at about 130. Just as Laver was a great singles tournament (holding the record at over 180 2wins) he was incredible winner of doubles events week after week.

    jeffrey
     
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  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You Emmo-lover you.

    Well if you pick Emmo and Mac from the sidelines, then we can include Newk also. Now there's a helluva doubles team!

    Look at these records--
    Roy Emerson: 16 GS Mens Doubles Titles
    John Newcombe: 17 GS Mens Doubles Titles
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
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  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Unfortunately, most here are doing laps in ATP cool-aid. I would add that while players of today are far better equipped technically and physically than their counterparts from 10, 20, 30 or more years ago, they aren't better players in terms of talent or strategizing or skill level or range of shots. Today there is too much emphasis placed on power alone.

    I do very much agree that Fed's 12 GS titles record exist in a weaker context, that is the cupboard is comparatively bare.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
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  27. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Former greats have been calling Federer either THE greatest or at least one of the greatest for years now. I think they realize that the names of his opponents don't mean much. Gonzo may not be a great player, but he was playing like one in last year's Australian Open, for example. Guys are streaky today, but when they're on, they're ON.
     
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  28. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think Fed's record will have to speak for itself, even if his competition is not quite up to the highest level.

    The point is that Laver, Mac, and Trabert would NOT be saying Fed is among the greats if he did not have 12 GS titles.
     
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