15 greatest players of all time

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by capriatifanatic, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You couldn´t say it better.Ken and Rod are the parents - or Gran parents- of the modern open era, their founders and without them, tennis would have probably never been the same.
     
  2. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    In terms of annual dominance, winning Majors, head to head, different surfaces, amateur/pro/open and by age, some names just jump out at you. Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal seem to be in an upper echelon. I couldn't reach down to 15 because I think there is a gap between these guys another awesome group of 20 - 30.
     
  3. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    I still think Lendl is greater pleyer than Nadal.. even I like both of them

    Ivan done great things on 3 different surfaces (almost 30 titles on Clay, Carpet and Hard.. and that's just official ATP crowns, many more is left out) and made 3 finals and 10 1/2's in Grass Majors. Also, his Indoor/Outdoor record is amazing, best in Open era for sure. Nadal is useless Indoor and for the start they are separate by a mile in terms of Masters Cup. Rafa won some 30 big titles but if we can talk about some tournaments Ivan won as a same category as Masters 1000 events, Ivan is better

    Ivan played against more great players then Rafa, almost every year in golden 80's came new young wave.. today there is nobody, just same bloody 4 players taking everything big
     
  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ...not even 4, NadalPower...just 3.
     
  5. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    I know m8, but I wish Murray is there too :???:
     
  6. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    This is very difficult, but basing it on career results I would rank the top fifteen as the following (since the abolition of the Challenge Round):

    1. Laver
    2. Tilden
    3. Budge
    4. Federer
    5. Gonzales
    6. Sampras
    7. Kramer
    8. Rosewall
    9. Borg
    10. Perry
    11. Connors
    12. McEnroe
    13. Lendl
    14. Vines
    15. Nadal

    Some of these rankings are so debatable I could easily change my mind.
     
  7. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    ButSandy, that rankings list is NOT based on career results. It is just your personal preference at the time and as you say, you could change it around easily. A true list should have clear criteria and be determined by that criteria.
     
  8. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

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    Everyones list is based on career results. We all interpret a players results differently and use our own subjective criteria to rank players. We all have our own criteria and evaluation process for judging greatness and who are you or anyone else to say its not based on set criteria. I could set out clear criteria and you could and it could be different entirely. You may not agree with the list but that does not mean no criteria and thought went into it. Different criteria parameters will yield different lists...
     
  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually I kind of like Sandy's list. Every one of his top 15 has been at one time or another called the best of all time. (Getting tired of GOAT so I decided to write best of all time instead. :) )

    I particularly like Vines mentioned there. Vines is a very underrated great.
     
  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    A very interesting list. Not exactly the same as my own, but many similarities.

    I appreciate the inclusion of Vines.
     
  11. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Well I like Nadal, but I wouldn’t put him in that upper tier. Not quite yet. Considering open era alone for a moment, I would rank them as follows:

    Federer
    Borg/Sampras
    then a gap
    Lendl, Connors, Nadal

    I think Nadal needs at least one more major to be placed above Lendl and Connors, because these two have such a phenomenal tournament record. And he needs at least one more year of clear dominance (winning at least two majors) to move up to the Borg/Sampras level.

    I agree with your top 7 all time. In chronological order:
    Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall, Laver, Borg, Sampras and Federer
     
  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Gonzales dominated Rosewall in his prime!
     
  13. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Its always not so easy, if you study those results closely. Gonzalez dominated Rosewall on their first tour in 1957 (26-51), as he, Gonzalez was himself dominated by Kramer on his first Tour (27-101). Keep in mind, that they played mostly in indoor US arenas, where Rosewall had absolutely no experience playing in. In the Australian part of the series on grass, Rosewall did surprisingly well. I have read in Hoad's book a quote from Kramer (who usually underrates Rosewall), that many of the US results in that series were very close, and could have gone either way. In the matches later, Rosewall and Gonzalez are quite equal, maybe with a slight advantage of Gonzalez. At the US pro, they never met, if i remember it right. No, correction could be in 1965, when Rosewall won at Longwood. At Wembley, Rosewall has a positive record vs. Gonzalez, and at the French pro, which was played in the late 50s on clay at RG, Gonzalez never could beat Rosewall, let alone win this event.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    A generation takes 15 years.Why not divide tennis history by generations?.After some thought, here goes my particular opinion

    1900-1914: From Doherty to Wilding.tennis first steps, a commonwealth dominion (Doherty,Brookes,Wilding) with some great americans confined in US borders (Mc laughlin,Richards,Sears).WWI breaks the progress

    Match of the generation: Wilding vs Brookes

    1915-1929: from Wilding to Tilden.tennis goes international after WWI, but it is a US vs France contest.The first GOAT candidate shows up: Big Bil Tilden, whose knowledge will make him the first intelectual and whose personality, along Lenglen´s will give the sport a first bang.Tilden and Wills vs the Mousketeers and Lenglen.

    Match of the generation: Tilden vs Lacoste

    1930-1944:From Tilden to Budge.Tennis is already an international sport and prot ennis starts seriously, although having a bad reputation that lasts till 1950´s.Europe has Perry,Von Cramm,Nusslein , Australia has Crawford but US is the powerhorse with Budge,Vines and Riggs.WWII stops progress

    Match of the Generation:Budge vs Perry

    1945-1959:from Kramer to Gonzales, with Hoad,Rosewall,Trabert,Sedgman in the middle.6 all time greats ( 3 US and 3 Oz ) in a tennis world dominated by the 2 superpowers.US dominates women´s tennis with Marble,Betz,Connolly,Hart,Gisbon and Fry.Pro tennis starts having its own life with those great stars and becomes the " real tennis".Possibly, the highest quality ever at the top 6.

    And latins have Olmedo and Segura, plus other aussies like Anderson and Cooper, Europe has Pietrangeli and Drobny...

    Match of the Generation:Hoad vs Pancho Gonzales

    1960-1974: from Laver to Borg.dawn of Open era.jets era increases tennis business while pros and amateurs still divided.1968 will change tennis ( as it changes the rest of human activities).Laver and Rosewall, with some unconsistent but brilliant showings from Gonzales and Hoad dominate the pro tennis.Emerson and then Newcombe,Ashe and Roche dominate the amateurs.Kodes and Nastase get in the middle of a condominium US-Australia.1974 marks the satrt of the Golden Era with great technichal and environtmental changes (TV,WTT,WCT): the era of true professionalism and the golden era spoilt by mass media.

    1974 also marks the end of Asutralian supremacy and the start of US dominance

    This generation has 3 queens: Court,Bueno and King that start the women´s lib movement that will benefit the new generation

    Match of the Generation: Laver vs Rosewall / Court vs Bueno/King

    1974-1989: From Borg/Connors to Sampras.Golden Era.Borg and Connors ( with Evert ) are the first 2 HBH, Vilas anc Connors are lefties, Vilas and Borg, start the dominance of top spin.Those 3 are followed by mc Enroe and Lendl and those 2 by Wilander,Becker and Edberg.great variety of styles, wood ceases its dominance and starts the graphite era.

    The ladies have also a memorable foursome, they are already ultraprofessionalized:Evert and Cawley first, Navratilova and Graff, next

    Match of the Generation: Borg vs Connors and Lendl vs Mc Enroe/ Evert vs Cawley and Navratilova vs Graf.Borg vs Mc Enroe and Evert vs Navi are probably the greatest rivalries in modern tennis and give the sport an unprecedented lift, that will never be matched.tennis reaches its historic peak
     
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ( continue)

    This era ends up witht he arrival of the first true big hitting, graphite and poly generation represented by Agassi and Sampras.After European domination, Us takes again the leadership

    1990-2004 From Sampras to Federer.As said, tennis has already peaked and will, slowly, go down in interest and variety, although the end of the cold war internationalizes the sport because of new nations ( plus the emergents).But classical powerhorses will slump.

    The big serving and big baseline bashing is the trademark.Sampras,Agassi,Courier represent the US dominance in men, while the 2 Williams and Davenport the US edge in women´s, after a first half dominated by europeans Graf,Seles,Hingis.US leads but Australia has Rafter and Hewitt, Spain begins to show great potential with Burguera,Moya,Costa and Ferrerro, and the eastern bloc, leaded by Russia is apowerhorse.So is Switzerland with 2 all time greats:Hingis and Federer.The era ends up with Sampras retired and Federer dominating...

    Match of the Generation:Sampras vs Agassi.Seles vs Graf

    2005-2019.We are now in the middle of the boring generation with same surfaces, styles, rackets and strings.Russians and Belgians dominate ladies tennis with the 2 Williams on the edge of retirement.Federer dominates for a while but Nadal first and Djokovic later break his strenghold.This era starts with the beginning of the intesne Fed-Nadal rivalry.

    match of the Generation:Nadal vs Fed

    This post is dedicated to those great lovers of tennis hsitory,specially its past ( fedrulz,abmk,apmerk,TMF,Novaktowin,Monfed...)
     
  16. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    capriatifanatic,

    Your mens list is very reasonable. I only would include Hoad.
     
  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    FYI, you are responding to a post from 6 years ago.
     
  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think he knows.
     
  19. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Limpinhitter,

    Yes I know about being six years back. But what is wrong with it?
     
  20. Iron Man

    Iron Man Rookie

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    1- Federer
    2- Borg
    3- Laver
    4-Sampras
    5-Nadal
    6-Gonzalez
    7-Lendl
    8-Rosewall
    9-Connors
    10-Tilden
    11-Budge
    12-MCenroe
    13-Agassi
    14- djokovic
    15-Becker
     
  21. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    True.
    In 2006 Federer have accomplished less than half of his current achievement.
     
  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Good point about the date of this post.

    Already in September 2006, Fed is listed ahead of Budge, Perry, Kramer, Mac, and Connors.
     
  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    And that was ridiculous.
     
  24. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    ?????

    I check the date from capriatifanatic's post and it was on 9/11/2006, which was a day after Federer won his 9th slams(http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2006/09/10/us-open-final.html).

    You may disagree, but nothing is ridiculous about fans having Fed ahead of them.
     
  25. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I just think it's a little silly to respond to a 6 year old post. (I've done similar things and felt pretty silly about it). You're not likely to get a reply. And, a lot of things have happened in 6 years.
     
  26. Steffi-forever

    Steffi-forever Semi-Pro

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    Men
    1. Laver
    2. Tilden
    3. Federer
    4. Rosewall
    5. Gonzales
    6. Sampras
    7. Nadal
    8. Borg
    9. Kramer
    10. Budge
    11. Lendl
    12. Connors
    13. McEnroe
    14. Hoad
    15. Perry

    Women
    1. Graf
    2. Court
    3. Wills Moody
    4. Evert
    5. Navratilova
    6. Lenglen
    7. Connoly
    8. King
    9. S.Williams
    10. Seles
    11. Bueno
    12. Henin
    13. V.Williams
    14. Goolagong
    15. Osborne duPont
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think you're right. I thought he had far fewer majors.

    See I do admit I'm incorrect when given proper info.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  28. theroguedog

    theroguedog New User

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    "I hate to lose more than I love to win" - Jimmy Connors

    I wonder how these and other rankings posted by tennis pros and others are impacted by anything other than pure, objective playing records? From that point of view only, my money is on Jimmy Connors (certainly NOT #13).

    Records held by Jimmy Connors:

    Most ATP singles titles won: 109.
    Most WCT singles titles won: 48.
    Most singles matches won on ATP WCT Grand Prix tours: 1,242.
    Most singles matches played in a career: 1,519
    Most ATP singles finals in a career: 158.
    Most carpet court titles in a career: 44.
    Most grass court titles won in a year (1974): 4.
    Most hard court titles won in a year (1973): 9 (shared with Roger Federer).
    Most indoor court titles in a career: 54.
    Most consecutive years with a match winning percentage over 80% (1973–84): 12.

    Most career Majors match wins: 232 (shared with Roger Federer).
    Most career Majors match wins on grass: 107
    Most Majors semifinals: 31.
    Most Majors quarterfinals: 41
    Most consecutive semifinals at an individual Grand Slam tournament: 12 at US Open.

    Most match wins at a single grand slam tournament US Open: 98.
    Most match wins at a single grand slam tournament Wimbledon: 84.
    Most career match wins overall on grass courts: 169.
    Best match winning percentage at the Australian Open 91.7% (11–1).
    Best Majors win–loss record in a single year (1974) 100% (20–0) (shared with Rod Laver).

    Most Grand Prix championship series tiles won in a year (1976): 5 (shared with Rod Laver).

    Most years finishing in the top ten: 16 (shared with Andre Agassi).
    Most US Open men's singles titles: 5 (shared with Pete Sampras and Roger Federer).

    Most years ended in the top 3: 12
    Most consecutive years ended in the Top 3 (1973-84):12.
    Most years ended in the top 5: 14
    Most years ended in the top 10: 16 (shared with Andre Agassi).
    Most consecutive years ended in the top 10 (1973-88):16
    Most consecutive weeks ranked inside the top 10: 788.
    Most consecutive years winning at least 5 tour titles per year(1972-1980): 9

    Won at least one Major title on at least three different surfaces (shared with Mats Wilander, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal). Connors is also the only man to win U.S. Open singles championships on grass, clay, and hard courts.

    Completed the shortest match at any single Grand Slam tournament final US Open (1974) by defeating Ken Rosewall in only 20 games 6–1, 6–0, 6–1.

    More...In 1974, Connors was by far the most dominant player. He had a 99-4 record that year and won 15 tournaments, including all the Grand Slam singles titles except the French Open. The French Open did not allow Connors to participate due to his association with World Team Tennis.
    His exclusion from the French Open most likely prevented him from becoming the first male player since Rod Laver to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in a calendar year. Despite not being allowed to play in the French Open in his prime, he was still able to reach the semifinals four times in his later years.

    Also, In 1975, Connors won two highly-touted "Challenge Matches", televised nationally by CBS Sports from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The first match, in February and billed as $100,000 ($408,065 today) winner-takes-all, was against Laver. Connors won that match, 6–4, 6–2, 3–6, 7–5. Connors won all three meetings with Rod Laver in tour events. ( I know Laver was "past his prime" so no need to tell me that). You can watch the match on YouTube.

    Another slant at
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703933404576170562828252014.html
     
  29. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    So put that record into real perspective and give us your 15 greatest.
     
  30. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    I can think of a list and if you ask me two days later it may be completely different. But IMO is something like this (only open era):

    1-Federer
    2-Laver
    3-Borg
    4-Agassi
    5-Sampras
    6-Nadal
    7-Lendl
    8-Connors
    9-McEnroe
    10-Wilander
     
  31. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Its good. I do question Agassi at #4, though.
     
  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting list, particularly as it is stated to apply to the Open Era only.

    Laver ranks very high, obviously, in the Open Era only.
     
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Not sure if Laver should rank quite that high also if the list is for the Open Era only. I do think a few players may rank above him for the Open Era. He gets extra credit for the Open Grand Slam in my book however and I think in many people's opinion.
     
  34. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Not a bad list, but why restrict it to the Open Era only? Did tennis suddenly become better in 1968?
    Why not set the dividing line at 1945, when a new generation of tennis players emerged, playing a new style of game, Kramer's "percentage tennis" developed in consultation with a mechanical engineer Kramer met during WWII. Kramer and Schroeder, his doubles partner, showcased the new style at the 1946 Davis Cup final in Australia, prompting the Aussies to hire Hopman to coach the new breed of Aussie player, starting with Sedgman.
    This truly revolutionized the game, and set the pattern for playing styles to the present day.
    Since the advent of "the big game", the best players have been selected by Rosewall himself in a 2010 interview with an Italian magazine,
    1) Hoad
    2) Gonzales
    3) Laver
    4) Federer
    Rosewall stopped at this point, perhaps because he considered himself the equal of anyone after number (4) Federer, including Borg, Sampras and the rest.
    The Little Master knew how to evaluate talent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I agree: for Open-Era-only, that seems a bit too high.
     
  36. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    As much as I like him Agassi is way too high.
     
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Incidentally this post and my post should demonstrate that some of us are fairly objective when it comes to discussing players including Rod Laver. We will say it when Laver is up too high on a list.

    I was looking at a thread in the General Pro Player forum and it had a poll of which career would you rather have. I forgot all the choices but it did have Federer, Nadal and Laver among them. Well Federer had 8 votes, Nadal 4 votes, Laver and the rest had 0 votes. That to me seems WAY OFF considering the greatness of Laver and his awesome accomplishments.
     
  38. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    you'll also find a lot of Fed-"tards" at GPPD complaining that Federer is too high on the list if you place him at #1 or #2 the best servers of all time. I find your claim that this forum is more objective than the GPPD as quite amusing and condescending.

    As for the poll you refer to, it's not a correct comparison -- the poll didn't ask to compare accomplishments, it just asked one's personal preference, and it's only natural that the majority in that forum fawn over Federer or Nadal. You can't infer objectivity (or lack of it) based on the results of the poll, IMO..
     
  39. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You know what, you're right. :)
     
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That simply and plainly proves that us, Laver´s admirers are just as humble, honest and caring as he was...

    Of course, I wonder if Federals,*********,djokers and Petetards could just perform as we do...
     
  41. Raging Buddha

    Raging Buddha Semi-Pro

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    That statement definitely speaks of being "humble, honest and caring", does it not?
     
  42. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    oh this forum, lol can you imagine if NSK makes his way on the former players section? :)
     
  43. Raging Buddha

    Raging Buddha Semi-Pro

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    Considering the state of Rafa's knees :-|, it could be sooner than we may have previously expected. And then we would have the official NSK GOAT rankings as Nadal>>>>>>>>>>>Laver>Borg>Sampras>Rosewall>Lendl>Agassi>>>>>>>Federer. :razz:
     
  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Who is NSK?
     
  45. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    trust me, you don't want to know
     
  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, I'll take your word for it.
     

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