A Tennis Hypothetical (would this player be GOAT?)

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by zam88, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    A tennis prodigy emerges.

    After a juniors career where he blew everyone off the court he wins his first major at the AO in 2019

    Then he gets on the sickest, hottest streak ever and also reels off the next 7 majors for a double consecutive Calendar Year Slam. In a few of those tournaments he never drops serve.

    In addition he wins a significant number of the masters in those two years, and wins the 2020 Olympic Gold. he also wins the WTF both seasons.

    The era before he started winning was considered medium strong (there were a few multi-slam winners in near-prime form on tour)


    Then his private jet crashes on the way to the 2021 AO and he tragically dies.


    Prior to this somewhere around his 5th or 6th consecutive majors people were wondering if we were witnessing a new GOAT. This player was lethal on all surfaces equally.


    So he ends his life with "only" 8 majors, a gold, a WTF, "only" 100 weeks at #1.

    But he'd blown EVERY one of his peers off the court for 2 straight years, passed the eyeball test of just looking the part of the perfect game, had a positive H2H against every opponent he'd played more than twice.


    Could this player be a GOAT without surpassing any of the grand slam champions?
     
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  2. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Maureen Connolly.
     
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  3. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    This is your answer. I had to google her. So no, this person would never be considered the greatest in history. Though he would not quickly be forgotten, if at all, tennis is about what you achieve mostly. Not about how, or when, or in which time. That's why I also never get the thing where people say someone should retire to 'protect his legacy'.
     
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  4. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    interesting, had never heard of maureen connolly. She had a pretty sick run.


    I can't help but think that the theoretical person I'm talking about though in the modern era would by hyped up a lot more, would have a lot more video around to prove their dominance, etc.

    However, I also suppose you could compare this person to Monica Seles since he career was rocking before the stab job.


    I guess what i'm talking about though is absolute dominance to the highest order... no one was touching this guy... and in an era where everyone has the same access to top rate coaching, conditioning, equipment, etc.
     
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  5. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    :shock: you seriously never heard of maureen 'little mo' connolly..the horse riding accident that ended her career when she was hoovering up majors for a laugh...is a big a 'what if' as seles and what wouldve happened if not been stabbed.
     
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  6. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    No. I've never heard of her, and never seen her in any goat debate. I wiki'd here and know what you talk about. It says something that me, a non-american, but way more than casual fan of tennis, don't know who she is.

    That tells you that in history, what ifs are important, but not as important as people who actually did what they were destined to do, as opposed to people who never got the chance.
     
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  7. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I'd say that on paper a player like this would definitely be one of the all time greats with a strong argument for being the greatest ever. He'd be in the running though, as would several other players. How much did the player impact professional tennis though? How influential was he in terms of affecting those that followed? These things are also factors in my view. To be one of the greatest players ever, with as many great tennis players as there has been, requires more than a large number of titles and records. The greatest players leave a mark that transcends the game and influences generations that follow them.
     
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  8. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Borg certainly would have won more slams had he not retired.
     
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  9. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Unfortunately, they wouldn't be the GOAT for me. As cruel as this sounds, you haven't done it until you've done it. But I'd have this player as one of my top 10 GOATs for sure, possibly even top 5.
     
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  10. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    Only if he has a negative H2H with biggest rival, if he is poor player on clay or if he played in the sixties of the last century :)
     
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  11. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    Some say he impacted it positively because he was a great role model and excellent for the sport. He was every bit the media and commercial success that Federer is.

    However some say he impacted it negatively because he was so dominant that it left little intrigue in the match.

    He was so dominant without dropping sets and consistently bageling, breadsticking, and golden setting people that he never had any signature legendary 5 set matches, or any type of a real rival.

    IN fact, on internet tennis message boards, people were beginning to wonder whether the player was actually brilliant or if the era was unbelievably weak.

    Going into the 2021 AO there was little hope for anyone else to win, if you wanted to bet on him it was 1/5 that he would win the title. 2/1 that he'd win it without dropping a set.

    If he had a real mark it was that every time he changed surfaces, he changed his game just a little to optimize on that surface.

    But really his trademark was the absolute blowouts
     
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  12. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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  13. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    interesting thread, but an even more extreme example.


    that type of a player would definitely be the biggest "what if" stories of our time.


    Boy that would make for some boring matches.


    100% first serve... and i'm guessing his serve is massive.... you'd have 5 set matches over in 1:15
     
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  14. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    He would be undoubtedly the best player of some "mini" era (those two years) and as BIG a "what if" as you could get.
     
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  15. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tennis history is so complex, with ever changing and evolving equipment as well, that I don't see how there can be a tennis GOAT.

    Monica Seles (circa 1989-1993) had the nickname "Little Mo" as well, just like Maureen Connolly.
     
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  16. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Many weigh a high level of play heavily when considering great players. To exand on this, did players try and emulate the style of play he adopted? Did they try and behave the way he did during matches (on court demeanor)? Did they adopt many of his training methods off court? In those ways, a great player could leave a brilliant legacy for those that followed. I think that the hypothetical player you describe would definitely be in the conversation, especially since there tends to be a modern bias. If a player accomplished that much by 2021, many fans at that time would be absolutely convinced that he would crush Federer, Nadal, or any player before him, because of the natural "evolution" of tennis. I doubt that I would agree with that even by then, but that tends to occur during every era. If that happened, guess what? The Nadal and Federer fans of today would be making the very same arguments that posters in the Former Pro Player Talk section make today wouldn't they?
     
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  17. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    When Sampras won his 13th and 14th majors, I don't think Sampras thought that any player would get near those totals for decades, especially as the 1998-2003 period had a load of different major winners.

    From 1998-2003 (a 6 year period), the following players won majors:

    Petr Korda
    Carlos Moya
    Pete Sampras
    Patrick Rafter
    Yevgeny Kafelnikov
    Andre Agassi
    Gustavo Kuerten
    Marat Safin
    Goran Ivanisevic
    Lleyton Hewitt
    Thomas Johansson
    Albert Costa
    Juan Carlos Ferrero
    Roger Federer
    Andy Roddick

    Yet from 2004-2012 (a 9 year period):

    Roger Federer
    Gaston Gaudio
    Marat Safin
    Rafael Nadal
    Novak Djokovic
    Juan Martin del Potro
    Andy Murray
     
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  18. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    A similar thing happened at the 1999 US Open (golf). The winner died in a tragic plane accident, but I don't think this would actually make them the GOAT.
     
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  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    That was Payne Stewart. Seles and Connolly were utterly dominant in their sport before the stabbing/horse riding accident, while Stewart was one of many strong golfers at the time of his death.
     
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  20. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    Post 90s (aka modern game): Absolutely
    Pre 70s : No wai
     
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  21. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    He'd have a really good case. As Mustard said, tennis history is very complicated, and picking a definitive GOAT is next to impossible. But this hypothetical guy would be up there for sure, having achieved in two years more than 99% of players achieve in their entire career.
     
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  22. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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  23. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    she played in 11 majors and winning 9 of them and those 9 were won in consecutive majors she entered..

    saying you've not heard of little mo connolly is like you havnt heard of monica seles or tracy austin...as you say you are a casual fan, thats fair enough....

    anyway, now you know, so its no big deal :) its a big shame how her career was ended age about 20 i think, and then she died of cancer in the 1960s aged around 35 :(:sad:
     
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  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes. Maureen Connolly lost in the second round of both the 1949 and 1950 US Championships, but then won 9 consecutive majors that she entered:

    1. 1951 US Championships
    2. 1952 Wimbledon
    3. 1952 US Championships
    4. 1953 Australian Championships
    5. 1953 French Championships
    6. 1953 Wimbledon
    7. 1953 US Championships
    8. 1954 French Championships
    9. 1954 Wimbledon

    The horsing accident which ended her career was just 2 weeks after winning 1954 Wimbledon. She was 19 years old. She died in 1969 at the age of 34, after a 3 year battle with cancer.
     
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  25. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    good post ^^^, i was sort of right then..i didnt check, so at least i got the majors bit spot on.
     
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  26. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    In men's tennis anyone anyone who can win 2 grand slams (the real not - no this bs career slam business) and Olympic gold - Is GOAT. A golden Slam is even better. I believe Rod Laver won 2 Grand slams (but a lot tournaments were grass).

    Women's - I guess you have to beat Steffi Graf's or Margret Courts - records - not really sure what they are.
     
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  27. JTJet

    JTJet Rookie

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    This person would definitely be up for the GOAT position, and won't be forgotten easily. Back to back CYGSs will be something to remember, but then again you have the story of Ms. Connolly.

    In the future, after this hypothetical player has died, I feel a majority of people will judge by what this player had done, instead of what this player could have done. It's sort of like a Bjorn Borg like way of judging things.

    This player would be up there for achievements GOATs, and probably top for potential GOAT discussions.
     
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  28. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    My view

    Laver didn't have Olympic Tennis as an option, it wasn't there when he was playing.

    re. Olympic Gold. I think rather the WTF. If one doesn't have the WTF on one's CV it is much more glaring than the absence of an Olympic Gold since you get 4 times the attempts to win the WTF than you do Olympic Gold, so only a 1/4 the excuses for not winning it.
     
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  29. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    That's a pretty GOAT-ish record.

    If a dude did that in today's game I'd be really thinking about elevating him beyond what others had done who'd won less majors.

    i can't believe i'd never heard of her before this thread
     
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  30. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    One of Laver's Grand Slams was against amateurs. It means zilch.
     
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  31. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    Also, I believe during that time - 3 of the grand slams were grass court events.

    Didn't realize Maureen Connolly - stopped playing at 19 - that's amazing.
     
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  32. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    It's like pitting a 12 year old against a fully grown man.
     
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  33. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's wrong to say it means "zilch", but Laver was probably only the fourth best player in the world in 1962, behind Rosewall, Hoad and Gimeno (all professionals). Gonzales was in an 18 month retirement at the time. Laver also won the 4 biggest professional tournaments in 1967 (winning the French Pro, Wembley Pro, US Pro and Wimbledon Pro). By this point, Laver was the undisputed best player in the world.
     
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  34. BlueB

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  35. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    To use a real example, but in another sport, ie the Munich air disaster that wiped out most of the Manchester United team in the 50s, it has only added to the legend of "Bubsy's Babes". They are still considered one of the best sides ever, notwithstanding their opportunities to win more trophies was tragically cut short.

    Sometimes a tragedy can enhance the reputation of a person, rather than cut it short. Look at Elivis, still considered the King. Marilyn Monroe, still probably considered the greatest female entertainer of all time.

    So to use the example in the OP, chances are that the player, whoever it was, may just be considered a GOAT, and there would be people of the player's era arguing with future generations just how good he was.
     
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